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Category Archives: E-Government

US Courts – Interactive Database Aids the Study of Judiciary Trends

“A recently enhanced database that houses information about civil and criminal federal cases dating to 1970 is now available to researchers and the public on the Federal Judicial Center’s website as part of a partnership with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The interactive database contains docket information from district, appellate, and bankruptcy court filings and terminations, including plaintiff and defendant names, filing date, termination date, disposition of the case, type of lawsuit, jurisdiction, and docket number. It excludes judges’ names as a preventative measure against judge-shopping by plaintiffs. Use of the database is free and it allows for multiyear data analyses. Data can be downloaded in annual and multi-year batches, or users can select their target cases using the database’s interactive feature. For several decades it has been a frequent tool for academic researchers studying workload trends in the federal Judiciary. For example, it’s been used in the past to examine how plea bargaining and charging outcomes have changed over time in response to changes in sentencing laws and to analyze the market impacts of corporate lawsuits involving publicly traded companies. It is also useful as a sort of “shopping list” for the PACER database, the federal Judiciary’s online service that makes judicial opinions, motions, pleadings and other actual records of cases available to the public.  Using the database on the FJC’s site in conjunction with PACER can help users zero in on the types of records sought, saving unnecessary document downloads. The revamped database adds in some data sets that were not in earlier versions: civil-case plaintiff and defendant names and docket numbers. It will also be updated with recent case information more frequently than in the past. A version of the database will continue to be housed at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, where it has been available since the 1980s. The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education arm of the federal Judiciary and often works in partnership with the AO, the Judiciary’s administrative agency. The AO collects and supplies the records for the database.”

FTC – New dietary supplement website launched

“Ever wonder if your dietary supplements are truly safe, effective and risk-free? If you are a member of the military, this question can be particularly important. Servicemembers often are targeted by companies selling supplements: to help members of the military lose weight, enhance workouts, or be in top shape for battle. If you’re considering using… Continue Reading

Global Open Data Index 2016/2017

The Global Open Data Index 2016/2017 – Advancing the State of Open Data Through Dialogue – “The Global Open Data Index (GODI) is the annual global benchmark for publication of open government data, run by the Open Knowledge Network. Our crowdsourced survey measures the openness of government data according to the Open Definition. By having… Continue Reading

New NOAA mapping tool – see how sea level rise will impact your specific local coastline

Sea Level Rise Viewer – NOAA Office for Coastal Management:  “Use this web mapping tool to visualize community-level impacts from coastal flooding or sea level rise (up to 6 feet above average high tides). Photo simulations of how future flooding might impact local landmarks are also provided, as well as data related to water depth,… Continue Reading

Treasury launches upgraded federal spending website

“Beta.USAspending.gov is the new official source of accessible, searchable and reliable spending data for the U.S. Government. Treasury released this new version of the USAspending.gov site in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) requirements. The “Beta” site will run concurrently with the previous version of the USAspending.gov website over the summer… Continue Reading

Chicago mayor Emanuel posts EPA’s deleted climate change page

Politico: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the Trump administration pulling down its website detailing information about climate change: putting up his own. “The new section of the City of Chicago’s website, launched this weekend, pulls data from the archived Environmental Protection Agency page, noting, “while this information may not be readily available on the… Continue Reading

National Archives Announces New Model for Preservation and Accessibility of Presidential Records

“The National Archives and Records Administration announced today a new model for the preservation and accessibility of Presidential records.  This follows an Obama Foundation announcement of its commitment to fund the digitization of all of the unclassified Presidential records created during the administration of President Barack Obama.  Instead of constructing a building to house the… Continue Reading

Presidential Executive Order on Establishment of American Technology Council

Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of the American Technology Council, Executive Order, May 1, 2017 “Purpose.  To promote the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, this order establishes the American Technology Council (ATC). …Sec. 6. ATC Functions. (a) The principal functions of the ATC shall be to: (i) coordinate the vision, strategy,… Continue Reading

DATA Act: As Reporting Deadline Nears, Challenges Remain That Will Affect Data Quality

DATA Act: As Reporting Deadline Nears, Challenges Remain That Will Affect Data Quality, GAO-17-496: Published: Apr 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2017. “Under the DATA Act, federal agencies must improve the federal spending data that are available to the public through the USASpending.gov website. We’ve reviewed the implementation of the DATA Act and found… Continue Reading

2017 Data Breach Investigations Report

Verizon: “Welcome to the 10th anniversary of the Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). We sincerely thank you for once again taking time to dig into our InfoSec coddiwomple that has now culminated in a decade of nefarious deeds and malicious mayhem in the security world. 2016 was an extremely tumultuous year, both in the United… Continue Reading

DOJ defends USDA take-down of massive animal abuse database

Follow up to previous postings – Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website and Some animal welfare data removed from USDA site is restored – via Josh Gerstein – Politico – “The Justice Department is mounting a legal defense of one of the most-publicized counter-transparency moves of the new Trump administration: the Agriculture Department’s decision… Continue Reading

GAO deleted operations manual – rescued gov doc

Russ Kick via MemoryHole2 – The Government Accountability Office recently deleted its operations manual. Here it is: altgov2.org/gao-manual/ Continue Reading