Getting Started

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Government Manual simply type
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About Us

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) publish The United States Government Manual.  The U.S. Government Manual website is jointly administered by the OFR–GPO partnership. Go to the website for more information and links to our publications and services.

About the U.S. Government Manual

The United States Government Manual is the official handbook of the Federal Government. This current edition of the Government Manual provides comprehensive information on the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.  It also includes information on quasi-official agencies, international organizations with U.S. membership, and Federal boards, commissions, and committees.

A typical agency descriptions includes:

  • A list of officials heading major operating units
  • A summary of the agency's mission and role in the Federal Government
  • A brief history of the agency, including its legislative or executive authority
  • A description of agency programs and activities
  • A set of Web sites, street addresses, and phone numbers for services, benefits, and other public information

This website offers three ways to find information on Government agencies and organizations.

  1. Enter a term in the keyword search box at the top left of the home page.
  2. Browse by category using the drop-down menu in the middle of the home page.
  3. Use "The Government of the United States" site map at the top right of the home page for an overview of the Government.

Editorial and Update Process

The current Government Manual database relies on information submitted to the OFR by Federal agencies and organizations, as required under 1 CFR part 20.  OFR editors review and edit the submissions to produce organized and concise descriptions of Federal agency programs and activities. Agency liaison officers are consulted to verify the currency of the Government Manual's content at least once a year. The OFR exercises final editorial control over all editions of the Government Manual.  To keep pace with changes in Government programs and leadership, OFR editors may amend the current edition throughout the year, using information verified by them or by the liaison officers.   

Official Edition and Legal Status

The United States Government Manual is a special edition of the Federal Register, issued under the authority of the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register (See 1 CFR part 9.).  In addition to the current edition, previous editions of the Government Manual are accessible on the govinfo website, and some previous editions are available in hardcopy from the GPO Bookstore

Federal Register publications and services are provided to the public under the Federal Register Act (44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), the GPO Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993 (44 U.S.C. 4101), and related public information laws of the United States.