General Management Laws: A Compendium

This report (hereafter "compendium") is a companion to CRS Report RL32388(pdf) , General Management Laws: Major Themes and Management Policy Options . In combination, these reports have three main objectives: (1) to identify and describe the major management laws under which the executive branch of the federal government is required to operate, including their rationale, design, and scope; (2) to assist Members of Congress and their staff in oversight of executive branch management; and (3) to help Congress when considering potential changes to the management laws themselves, as well as other legislation, including authorization statutes and appropriations. The compendium contains profiles of selected "general management laws" -- broad statutes designed to regulate the activities, procedures, and administration of all or most executive branch agencies. The quality of the general management laws, as well as their implementation, are considered crucial to maintaining the accountability of the executive branch to Congress, the President, and the public. Moreover, these laws influence the effectiveness of federal agencies when they implement, evaluate, and help formulate public policies. The compendium includes more than 90 separate entries that describe general management laws for the executive branch of the federal government. The entries in the compendium are organized into the following seven functional categories: (1) Information and Regulatory Management; (2) Strategic Planning, Performance Measurement, and Program Evaluation; (3) Financial Management, Budget, and Accounting; (4) Organization; (5) Procurement and Real Property Management; (6) Intergovernmental Relations Management; and (7) Human Resources Management and Ethics. These categories include many laws and topics, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, section I.E.), Privacy Act (I.F.), Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA, I.G.), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, I.L.), Data Quality Act (I.O.; increasingly known as the Information Quality Act (IQA)), Inspector General Act (II.A.), Government Performance and Results Act (II.B.), Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act (III.D.), Budget Enforcement Act (III.E.), Government Corporation Control Act (IV.A.), Davis-Bacon Act (V.F.), Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA, VI.C.), Hatch Act (VII.A.(5) and VII.A.(29)), Ethics in Government Act (VII.B.), Federal Tort Claims Act (VII.E.), and issues like information security (section I), improper payments (section III), services acquisition and contracting (section V), and federal employees and civil service laws (e.g., the National Security Personnel System at the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security personnel system (section VII.A)). For each entry in the compendium, one or more CRS analysts present a brief history of the general management law, describe the law's major provisions, discuss key developments and issues, and provide source readings for readers who want more information. The compendium reflects the status of general management laws at the end of the first session of the 108th Congress, and will be updated along with the companion report to reflect actions taken through the close of the 108th Congress.