Skip to main content

PSCI 4050: National Public Policy -- Spring 2016: Home

Essential Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report to Read

Be sure to read the CRS Report, "Changes to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA): Overview of the New Framework of Products and Processes," prepared for the members of Congress.The new laws make it mandatory for most agencies to get goals, measure performance,and report the information to Congress.  Agencies must have multi-year strategic plans, annual plans, and annual reports.

Inspectors General Reports

Congress created federal inspectors general (IGs) to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within designated federal departments and agencies. Generally, these IGs head permanent, nonpartisan, and independent offices that conduct audits, investigations, and other evaluations of federal department and agency programs and operations. Offices of inspectors general (OIGs) exist in more than 70 federal agencies, including all departments and larger agencies, numerous boards and commissions, and other entities.  
Try doing a Google search for "inspector general reports" and the name of your agency, e.g., treasury.

The following 2014 CRS report titled "Federal Inspectors General: History, Characteristics, and Recent Congressional Actions" explains the role of this important office.

CRS (Congressional Research Service) Reports

Identifying an Agency

Use the following sites to help you choose an agency.  Sometimes these are called bureaus, commissions or offices.
This is one of the best gateways into government information.  Click on the link Government Agencies and Elected Officials, then on the A-Z Index of Federal Agencies and Departments to help identify an agency. is a window to the Administration’s efforts to deliver a more effective, smarter, and leaner government. The site gives the public, agencies, members of Congress, and the media a view of progress underway in cutting waste, streamlining government, and improving performance.  You will go here to find performance information about agencies.

To navigate the site: Click on "Agencies" in the bar at the top of the page. Then click into the department or "additional agency" of interest.  You should focus on the "Agency Plans and Reports" links that you may see.  The link to plans and reports is at the bottom.  The links for "Additional Agencies" are more inconsistent--you may need to root around for those.

The Appendix, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017
Scroll down to "Detailed Budget Estimates by Agency," and then download the appendix to search for agencies/bureaus. Here you should find budget and staffing information about an agency.  DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE APPENDIX--just download the agency you are interested in researching.

Gov Management Daily

You might want to subscribe to the Gov Management Daily to get the most up-to-date information about your agency/bureau.  This is a free e-mail newsletter that provides people with an interest in public management with the the latest news, commentary and other useful information about this vital field. The newsletter is published every business-day morning. Simply enter your email address in the box on the right hand side of the page.

Meet Your Librarian

Maria Perez-Stable's picture
Maria Perez-Stable
Dwight B. Waldo Library, Room 1012
Telephone: 269-387-5322

OFFICE HOURS for Summer II 2018:By appointment