What are Government Documents
A U.S. government document may be broadly defined as any publication issued at government expense or published under the authority of a governmental body. Included are official papers that record the actions or deliberations of government (such as the Congressional Record), informational publications (like the many statistical compilations of the Bureau of the Census), and reports of research done under government contract.
The United States Government, often through the Government Printing Office (GPO) and its predecessor agencies has provided open access to much U.S. information since 1790. Public access to government documents is guaranteed by public law.
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