Finding Lost U.S. Government Data: "The Lost, and the Found"

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BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 29, 1998

Finding Lost U.S. Government Data:
A Selective, Supplementary Bibliography

Presented by
Michael R. Oppenheim
Reference / Instructional Services Librarian
Rosenfeld Library, The Anderson School at UCLA
moppenhe@anderson.ucla.edu

Articles | Government Publications


ARTICLES
Blustein, Paul. "Commerce: A Department the GOP Couldn't Kill." Washington Post (27 April 1996): D1.
Despite much effort on the part of Congressional Republicans in the Fall of 1995 to dismantle the Commerce Department, they have wound up leaving most parts of it intact, after all.


Borrus, Amy. "The Commerce Department Has a Choice: 'Reinvent or Die." Business Week (Industry/Technology Edition), no. 3431 (3 July 1995): 39.
Republicans in both Houses of Congress are sharpening their budgetary axes to go after the Commerce Department.


"Crunching America's Number-Crunchers." Economist 336, no. 7926 (5 August 1995): 69.
Expresses mystification as to why the Republican Congress seems so bent on doing away with the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, whose output includes "the world's most comprehensive set of figures on foreign direct investment."


Edmondson, Brad. "The Bureau's Big Switch." American Demographics 17, no. 5 (May 1995): 2.
Wary though not entirely negative editorial from the very earliest days of the Census Bureau's planning to stress electronic information distribution over print, and the impact therefrom.


_____. "Free Data Mean Jobs." American Demographics 17, no. 12 (December 1995): 2.
Editorial observes that the country "would be much better served" by an investment in a "tune-up of federal data agencies," as opposed to the "painfully stupid idea" some members of Congress have been promoting that the government should cut back on its gathering and dissemination of demographic and economic data.


"The Evangelist for U.S. Exporters: Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown Talks About the Survival of His Agency." International Business (September 1995): 39-40.
In this interview, [the late] Commerce Secretary Ron Brown derides the "foolhardy suggestion" to dismantle Commerce (not surprisingly) as "tantamount to unilateral disarmament in the battle for the global marketplace", a view which also reflects the extent to which "The Big Emerging Markets" had become so much more important in the first Clinton administration, politically and economically, than "The U.S. Industrial Outlook."


Gleckman, Howard. "One Roof for All Economic Data." Business Week no. 3448 (30 October 1995): 39.
Economics columnist, deploring the House Republicans' plans to dismantle the Commerce Department as a "horrible idea," maintains that "the real solution is to merge all the far-flung statistical agencies into a single office, much like America's northern neighbor has done with Statistics Canada."


"Good Numbers Are Worth a Good Deal." Business Week no. 3438 (21 August 1995): 92.
Editorial decries the folly of the Congressionally-proposed underfunding of the Bureau of Economic Analysis: "What use is an Information Age if the information is bad?"


Hershey, Robert D., Jr. "The Commerce Department Seeks to Privatize an Index." New York Times (5 May 1995): C2 (national edition).
The Department is going to seek bids on the open market to take over the production of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators.


_____ . "U.S. Farms Out Compiling of Leading Indicators." New York Times (8 September 1995): D1.
On September 7, 1995, the Commerce Department announced that the Conference Board won the bidding (against five other competitors) to take over compilation of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, and the companion coincident and lagging indicators. The $450,000 the government saves by this landmark privatization will be applied to the higher priority of "overhauling its broadest national statistics to keep pace with structural changes in the economy."


Knapp, John L. "Measurements for the Future: The Vital Role of Federal Statistics." Review of Business 17, no. 3 (Spring 1996): 3-6.
Following up on his March 1996 testimony before the House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, the author argues a thorough, well-reasoned case for the sanctity and vitality of federal statistical programs. Dr. Knapp has served as President of both the Association for University Business and Economic Research, and the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS).


Nesbit, Jeff. "Outlook Not Good for Commerce Move." The Washington Times (30 December 1994): B7.
Makes Commerce Department's Undersecretary for International Trade Jeffrey Garten out to be the "real villain" in the untimely demise of the U.S. Industrial Outlook, whose death "may simply be a portent of things to come."


"Report on Leading Indicators Is Delayed." New York Times (28 December 1995): D17.
The Conference Board's first release (for November 1995) of the newly privatized report on leading economic indicators will be delayed because of the recent Federal government shutdown: the data were not available.


Samuelson, Robert J. "Out of Print." Newsweek 126, no. 11 (11 September 1995): 59.
Economics columnist considers, with some alarm, the apparently inexorable move being made by the Census Bureau from print to electronic information dissemination, acknowledging that although the Bureau "should be issuing its data in computer-friendly ways," it should not do so "as a substitute for printed reports."


Sperry, Roger L. "Kissing Commerce Goodbye." Government Executive 27, no. 9 (September 1995):14-20+.
Describes and analyzes the House Republicans' attack on Commerce, and why the "all-over-the-map" Department makes such an "outstanding" target (in part, because its constituency is primarily "the private sector").


Stanfield, Rochelle L. "Losing Numbers." National Journal 27, no. 39 (30 September 1995): 2408-2411.
Describes the challenges facing the federal statistical agencies (and, most particularly, the Census Bureau) in having to spend increasingly less money to collect and disseminate more data.


" U.S. Industrial Outlook Killed: International Trade Administration Discontinues Source of Statistical Information." Publisher's Weekly 242, no. 2 (9 January 1995): 11.
The Commerce Department's Undersecretary for International Trade, Jeffrey Garten, has ordered the discontinuation of the 35-year-old U.S. Industrial Outlook because the publication did not support the main function of the ITA, the promotion of international trade. A "World Trade Outlook" will be developed to replace the USIO.


" U.S. Industrial Outlook To Be Replaced." The Information Advisor 7, no. 2 (February 1995).
Reports that although the Commerce Department states officially that the USIO is being discontinued because "a revamped Outlook would better support the trade development mission" of the Department, the "real reason," according to an unnamed source within the Department, is that "we are hemorrhaging a loss of expertise from cutbacks in funding, and no longer have the in-house expertise to cover all of those industries."


Worsham, James. "Downsizing the Cabinet." Nation's Business 83, no. 8 (August 1995): 24-26.
Yet another good description and analysis of the Fall 1995 Congressional efforts to "terminate with extreme prejudice" that ripest Executive Branch "victim," the Commerce Department.


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GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
"BEA's Mid-Decade Strategic Plan: A Progress Report." Survey of Current Business 76, no. 6 (June 1996): 52-55.
Also available on the Web at: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/aw/0696od/maintext.htm
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published a finalized strategic plan for maintaining and improving its national, regional, and international accounts in April 1995. Here in the "Mid-Decade Strategic Plan," the needed improvements to the accounts are grouped into 3 major areas: (1) new and improved measures of output; (2) better measures of investment, saving, and wealth; and (3) improved coverage of international transactions.


"Mid-Decade Strategic Review of BEA's Economic Accounts: An Update." Survey of Current Business 75, no. 4 (Apr 1995): 48-56.
Also available on the Web at: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/aw/0495od/maintext.htm
In the February 1995 Survey of Current Business, as part of its "Mid-Decade Strategic Review," the BEA published a draft plan for maintaining and enhancing the utility of its national, international, and regional accounts. Reactions to the draft plan were requested. Here, comments made at a March 1995 conference of users of the accounts are summarized, a plan reflecting those and other comments is detailed, and the first steps in implementing the plan are presented.


"Mid-Decade Strategic Review of BEA's Economic Accounts: Maintaining and Improving Their Performance." Survey of Current Business 75, no. 2 (February 1995): 36-66.
Also available on the Web at: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/aw/0295od/maintext.htm
In mid-1994, a comprehensive review of the U.S. economic accounts produced by the BEA began, initially with the preparation of a series of background papers assessing the state of the economic accounts. Next came the development of a prioritized agenda, or strategic plan, to maintain and improve the economic accounts over the next decade. The draft plan is detailed here; comments and recommendations from account users are invited.


United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1996 : Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First Session...Part 6. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1995. (Superintendent of Documents No.: Y 4.AP 6/1:C 73/2/996/PT.6)
See especially the "Review of Commerce Department Statistical Programs," pages 209-329.


United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1997 : Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Second Session...Part 5. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1996. (Superintendent of Documents No.: Y 4.AP 6/1:C 73/2/997/PT.5)
See especially pages 903-904, in the section on "Commerce Statistical Programs" (pages 871-935).


United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1998 : Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, First Session...Part 5. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1997. (Superintendent of Documents No.: Y 4.AP 6/1:C 73/2/998/PT.5)
See especially pages 992-994, in the section on "Commerce Statistical Programs" (pages 993-1035).


United States. General Accounting Office. Economic Statistics: Status Report on the Initiative to Improve Economic Statistics: Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives. Washington, D.C.: The Office ; 1995. (Report no. GAO/GGD-95-98)
Also available on the Web through GPO Access, accessible via: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml
Provides a detailed "progress report" on the activities of the key Federal statistical agencies, based on their actions taken to implement the Economics Statistics Initiative (ESI), a group of recommendations announced in 1990 and 1991 by the Council of Economic Advisers. The work, responses to the recommendations, and budgetary "ups and downs" of the following agencies are recorded: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Census Bureau; Office of Management and Budget; National Agricultural Statistics Service; and the National Science Foundation.


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BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 29, 1998


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