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Category Archives: Government Documents

GAO Report – Next Generation Air Transportation System

Next Generation Air Transportation System: Improved Risk Analysis Could Strengthen FAA’s Global Interoperability Efforts, GAO-15-608: Published: Jul 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 2015: “Aviation industry stakeholders GAO interviewed described various factors that may affect the interoperability of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)—a complex, long-term initiative to modernize the U.S. air-traffic management (ATM) system—with other countries’ ATM modernization efforts. Interoperability allows different ATM systems and procedures to accept and use each other’s information and services for technical or operational purposes. One factor described by 17 of 25 stakeholders that could affect achieving global interoperability, which, in turn, can affect NextGen’s interoperability efforts, is the ability of key stakeholders, particularly air navigation service providers (ANSP) from different countries, to agree on the desired outcome of ATM modernization efforts. Stakeholders also identified several conditions that could affect when international standards are developed and when nations can implement ATM modernization efforts. For example, government and industry resource constraints could delay countries’ modernization efforts and thereby could delay the interoperability of NextGen with other systems. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) developed an international strategic plan in 2014 to guide internal efforts for coordinating and executing NextGen’s global interoperability and other international activities. This plan and other supporting documents demonstrate, to varying degrees, five of the six characteristics of an effective strategy that GAO has previously identified. For example, FAA identified organizational roles, responsibilities, and coordination mechanisms and is developing activities and performance measures to achieve global interoperability. However, FAA lacks a mechanism for comprehensively identifying and assessing risks and for prioritizing resources to manage NextGen’s interoperability risks, such as those resulting from the factors identified by aviation industry stakeholders GAO interviewed. According to FAA officials, potential risks to NextGen’s interoperability are identified and assessed through working groups; however, FAA has not conducted a comprehensive risk assessment or analysis of threats and vulnerabilities specific to NextGen interoperability. Without a more comprehensive approach to assessing and managing risks, FAA is not well positioned to ensure that its strategy effectively mitigates all potential risks to NextGen’s interoperability or to prioritize resources toward actions that will manage and mitigate those risks. In addition to internal coordination efforts, FAA coordinates with the European Union and other foreign ANSPs on the global interoperability of their ATM modernization efforts through various mechanisms, such as through bilateral agreements and participation in regional and international working group forums. This coordination has resulted in efforts that further global interoperability, including agreement on a framework for developing global technology standards and conducting a demonstration of worldwide flight-information sharing. For example, FAA and European Union officials continue to collaborate to support the International Civil Aviation Organization’s efforts to update the Aviation System Block Upgrades, which are designed to be consistently applied by countries and regions around the world to help achieve interoperability.”

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The Weight of the World Can Christiana Figueres persuade humanity to save itself? By Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker: “…The Framework Convention on Climate Change is overseen by an organization known as the Secretariat, which is led by a Costa Rican named Christiana Figueres…of all the jobs in the world, Figueres’s may possess the veryContinue Reading

2013 Manufacturing and International Trade Report

“This report from the U.S. Census Bureau provides a comprehensive comparison between detailed manufacturing product class data and associated import and export data. The data are published on a North American Industry Classification System basis from the 2012 Economic Census Subject Series and the 2013 Annual Survey of Manufactures, presented with official U.S. export andContinue Reading

Injunction against metadata collection reversed by U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit

EFF – “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s opinion [August 28, 2015] in Klayman v. Obama is highly disappointing and, worse, based on a mistaken concern about the underlying facts. The court said that since the plaintiffs’ phone service was provided by one subsidiary of Verizon—Verizon Wireless—rather than another—Verizon Business—they couldn’t prove that theyContinue Reading

Continued Bipartisan Support for Expanded Background Checks on Gun Sales

“Two years after the failure of Senate legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, the public continues to overwhelmingly support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Currently, 85% of Americans – including large majorities of Democrats (88%) and Republicans (79%) – favor expanded background checks, little changedContinue Reading

Census Data Used For Comprehensive Visualization of Segregation in American Cities

Wired – “This is the most comprehensive map of race in America ever created [by Dustin Cable at University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service]. White people are shown with blue dots; African-Americans with green; Asians with red; and Latinos with orange, with all other race categories from the Census represented by brown.Continue Reading

World Bank Opens Online Archives Holdings

Elisa Liberatori Prati – World Bank – “In April 2015, as part of its commitment to transparency and openness, the World Bank Group launched its Archives Holdings website. This is a state-of-the-art platform, which maximizes the public’s online access to a vast amount of original primary source material in the custody of the Archives. CreatedContinue Reading

Housing Tax and Transfer Programs Decrease Inequality

Gregory Acs and Paul Johnson, Urban Institute. August 18, 2015: “We examine the relationships between housing subsidies, the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions, and income inequality and find that housing subsidies to low-income families reduce income inequality while the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions increase it. On net, the distribution ofContinue Reading

Study identifies organ toxicity from weed killer in drinking water

Brian Bienkowski – Environmental Health News: Scientists report worrisome changes to liver and kidney genes in rats, adding to evidence that a popular herbicide may be toxic – Long-term exposure to tiny amounts of Roundup – thousands of times lower than what is permitted in U.S. drinking water—may lead to serious problems in the liverContinue Reading

Barclays UK Prosperity Map – new research that uses factors including average annual pay, business survival rates, the percentage of households

“A Prosperity Index score has been calculated by Opinium for each UK city and region, helping to explain the data on millionaire numbers calculated by Wealth-X. The index uses third party figures on the factors listed below: Factors used in regional Prosperity Index score: Median household wealth GDP per capita Unemployment rate Average weekly householdContinue Reading

Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Reconsidered 10 Years Later

Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government – Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Reconsidered 10 Years Later By Marc Landy: “From 2006 through 2008, the Rockefeller Institute partnered with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana to conduct a regional analysis of the recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The InstituteContinue Reading

National, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19–35 Months United States 2014

CDC  MMWR August 28, 2015 / 64(33);889-896 – “Since 1994, the National Immunization Survey (NIS) has monitored vaccination coverage among U.S. children aged 19–35 months. This report presents national, regional, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage estimates for children born from January 2011 through May 2013, based on data from the 2014 NIS.”