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Federal Government
U.S. Commerce Department Report Touts Value Of Government Data On Economy & Population PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 21 July 2014 09:49

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - A new U.S. Commerce Department report says there is a big value to the American economy from an investment in data via the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau.

"Fostering Innovation, Creating Jobs, Driving Better Decisions: The Value of Government Data" was released July 14.
In a blog about the report, Mark Doms, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at Commerce, offered perspective. The blog read in part:
"These agencies inform us on how our $17 trillion economy is evolving and how our population (318 million and counting) is changing, data critical to our country.   Although “Big Data” is all the rage these days, the government has been in this  business for a long time: the first Decennial Census was in 1790, gathering information on close to four million people, a huge dataset for its day, and not too shabby by today’s standards as well. 
Just how valuable is the data we provide?   Our report seeks to answer this question by exploring the range of federal statistics and how they are applied in decision-making.   Examples of our data include gross domestic product, employment, consumer prices, corporate profits, retail sales, agricultural supply and demand, population, international trade and much more.
Clearly, as shown in the report, the value of this information to our society far exceeds its cost – and not just because the price tag is shockingly low: three cents, per person, per day.   Federal statistics guide trillions of dollars in annual investments at an average annual cost of $3.7 billion: just 0.02 percent of our $17 trillion dollar economy covers the massive amount of data collection, processing and dissemination.   With a statistical system that is comprehensive, consistent, confidential, relevant and accessible, the federal government is uniquely positioned to provide a wide range of statistics that complement the vast and growing sources of private sector data."
The entire blog, and the report, can be found at http://www.esa.doc.gov/Blog/2014/07/14/new-commerce-department-report-explores-huge-benefits-low-cost-government-data
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 09:58
U.S. House Approves Amendment To Limit D.C.'s Enforcement Of Local Gun Restrictions PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:14

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - If the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives prevails, District of Columbia officials will lose their power to enforce the district's very strict gun laws. 

House members approved an amendment that would make federal law the prevailing authority in the area and prevent local officials from spending money enforcing local law. 
The U.S. Senate must concur in order for the change to take effect. Democrats control the Senate, making concurrence unlikely. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:14
National Taxpayer Advocate Identifies Priority Areas and Challenges In Mid-Year Report to Congress PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 11:14

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Amid questions over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some groups seeking tax exempt status, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has identied priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year. 

The report is mandated by Congress.
In it, Olson emphasizes the importance of taking concrete steps to give meaning to the recently adopted Taxpayer Bill of Rights, issuing refunds to victims of return preparer fraud, continuing to make improvements in the Exempt Organizations area and expanding the recently announced voluntary return preparer certification program to include competency testing. 
The report praises the IRS for implementing the Advocate’s longstanding recommendation to adopt a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In addition, “the IRS ran a generally successful filing season (although taxpayer services were sub-optimal largely due to staffing limitations), instituted a more equitable approach to its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure initiative, and introduced a voluntary system for educating unenrolled return preparers,” Olson wrote in a preface to the report. “All this is generally good news. But as we note in the report, the good news also raises additional questions and concerns.”
The entire report can be found at 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 11:14
Retiring Congressman Howard Coble Introduces Final Major Bill PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 14 July 2014 10:23


RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - With just six months left before he retires from three decades of congressional service to North Carolina's sixth district, Rep. Howard Coble has authored the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 5036). 
Coble is chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the nation’s television industry.  
The bill extends the expiring provisions of current law that governs satellite companies’ ability to retransmit broadcast television signals.  
Three statutory licenses enable copyrighted video content to be made available without permission. One will expire on December 31, 2014, unless renewed by Congress.  
“This extension will implement no change to the existing licenses," Coble said in a statement. "I, along with my satellite viewing constituents, look forward to seeing its quick enactment, and I hope passage of the bill will be a fitting cap to my tenure as chairman of this important subcommittee.”

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