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The Spire Project: Government Resources
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We pay a high price in both direct and indirect taxes for our government. These are intelligent people, paid to be informed. Government experts and documents are thus generally detailed, factual, reliable ... and helpful.


to article list Government Websites
We can locate government websites with Foreign Government Resources on the Web thanks to the University of Michigan Documents Center. Alternatively, use International government entry points from the University of Southern California. There is also a list of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments, courtesy of the CIA.

to article list US Government Information
There are no certain ways of locating resources by the US government information but there are definitely some brilliant tools to search parts of the government documents.
database GovBot, as developed by The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR) is a search engine that indexes exclusively a great number of government webpages, a unique resource. This is the CIIR gateway (there have been others).
General Search:
Title field:
Url field:
Accepts "" but not Boolean. Fields optional, so just enter search terms in title box for a title search.
webpage Global search engines can be made to restrict the results to information residing on specific websites.
Altavista ( allows us to restrict by domain. To do this, simply add to the search query. or work too.
webpage Fedworld is a fine place to start if you are surfing.
Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications (MOCAT) (1994+)

Use ADJ AND OR NOT must be capitalized,   * for stem   ".." for phrases. MOCAT is from the US Government Printing Office. They have Improved Professional Search Options and help files.
database Catalog of United States Government Publications
prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration, this 800 page file documents US government in all its parts, with overview & contact information. It corresponds to a print directory. Start here or read the Scout Report review.
webpage Thomas, as in Thomas Jefferson, holds [US] Legislative information on the internet. Visit this site for a quick search of the full text of bills before congress, the house...

to article list United Kingdom Government Publications
The [UK] Stationery Office is the official publisher for the UK Parliament and all government departments. Their publications are available through their (, and particularly their advanced search from the UKState website ( Here is an abbreviated UKStationery Office publication search:
Search Words:
    Accepts Quotes and Boolean AND OR NOT
This publication database represents perhaps 60% of the more definitive United Kingdom Official Publications (UKOP) database featured below.

to article list Australian Government
Australian Government Index of Publications (AGIP 1992+)
from AusInfo (formerly the AGPS). There is an AGIP description of the file here but start here. AGIP books can be ordered through AusInfo, which has a store in each Australian Capital.
book The Guide to Australian Government Departments helps to know which government organization has authority on an issue. There are several ways to learn... A book in the library, one of two websites, or some strange little search engine called Wombat.
Australian Government Web Sites

The National Library Australia has a Government Website Page, a list of other guides to the AU gov, and the list to Federal Government Departments.

Official State Entry Points:
WA - SA - NT - TAS - VIC - NSW - ACT - QLD
State Government Agencies
Map of Australia
WA - SA - NT - TAS - VIC - NSW - ACT - QLD


Article ListResearch CommentarySeminar datesUpdate Notices The United Nations also works for us. They are prolific publishers on all manner of international issues, their primary sources available through United Nations Depository Libraries and secondary (sales) documents more ubiquitous. We can get an approximate search of UN sales documents with the Library of Congress catalogue. Unions is the internet search engine of UN webpages. Read our United Nations Information article, for this topic.

to article list Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information (FOI) Legislation secures you and I the right to view most documents produced in the running of our government. A very useful resource for investigative journalism, FOI requests can come from anyone.

FOI legislation is not universal, and many of the under-developed countries of the world have no such allowance to watch the government. However, where it does exist, it can be a simple and friendly process. An effective step is to speak directly to the nominated FOI officer for the government agency involved. There are also FOI guides, some online, which you can find with a search engine.

webpage The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) maintains an FOI archive, which also includes a little bit on the UK and Australia.
webpage The Society of Professional Journalists also maintains an FOI Resource centre

Government Reliability
The reliability of government statistics actually needs some clarifying. Taking the devils advocate position, we can attack any position of presumed integrity.

#1   All statistics can become biased unintentionally.
#2   All statistics can similarly become biased intentionally - in minor way which can not be seen from a distance.
#3   Simple changes, like changing the definitions of unemployment, have major political ramifications. In a climate where political purposes can influence the preparation of statistics, we have both the means and the motive.

#4   I have heard repeated rumours in several countries of important national statistics that can and are being fudged.

I write this to remind you of bias. I personally find government publications are prone to factual presentation but occasionally have difficulties with political bias when it comes to conclusions. Perhaps the safe ground in both is a modicum of skepticism and a willingness to untangle the statistics yourself.

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