The purposes, authorities, and instruments of congressional oversight are described in detail in a newly-expanded Congressional Oversight Manual (pdf) prepared by the Congressional Research Service.
“Congressional oversight and investigations can often, though not always, become adversarial,” the CRS Manual observes. “This is especially true when the entity being targeted, whether a private individual, corporation, or executive branch agency, has information Congress believes is necessary to its inquiry but refuses to disclose. In those situations the targeted entity may attempt to use several methods of avoiding disclosure. A commonly used tactic to avoid disclosure is to assert that the information cannot be disclosed due to a specific law, rule, or executive decision. Another common tactic is to assert that the information itself is of such a sensitive nature that Congress is not among those entities entitled or authorized to have the information.”
The Manual proceeds to scrutinize the validity of such tactics, and discusses the options available to Congress to compel disclosure. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See Congressional Oversight Manual, Congressional Research Service, 168 pages, January 6, 2011.
Other noteworthy new CRS reports include the following (both pdf).
Ricin: Technical Background and Potential Role in Terrorism, December 21, 2010.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.