Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced the first-ever Web release of the new United States Government Manual (the Manual), the official handbook of the Federal Government, online at www.usgovernmentmanual.gov.
The new Manual, created by the Office of the Federal Register with the Government Printing Office, provides timely access to descriptions of the many organizations, programs, and leaders of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the Federal Government.
The new online Manual presents information in a standardized format, using extensible markup language (XML). Uniform data fields make it possible to display changes quickly, and also provide bulk access to XML data through Data.gov and FDsys.gov. The database tracks vacancies and replacements to maintain current listings of top officials in the both the Obama administration and the 112th Congress.
The Manual also provides useful information about quasi-official agencies, international organizations with U.S. membership, and Federal boards, commissions, and committees. The Office of the Federal Register will continuously update this online version – a marked improvement over the annual snapshot of the printed edition.
“Sources of Information” headings list addresses and telephone numbers of each agency for employment, Government contracts, publications, films, and other public services. The Manual provides easy access to agency organizational charts, definitions of commonly used Federal abbreviations and acronyms, and a detailed section on Federal agencies that have been terminated, transferred, or changed in name since March 1933.
The Federal Register – Government Printing Office partnership will continue to print and distribute the paper edition of the Manual to the public and Federal Depository Libraries annually. The next hardcopy edition will be released in May 2011. Starting with this edition, the printed version will cover a single calendar year, rather than two years.
The Manual has been compiled and published by the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of the Federal Register since 1948.