www.publicrecordsources.com: Does not provide the public record itself, but it does point you to the agency that houses the record you need (it’s got more than 650 listings by state and county). Public Records Sources also informs you of access procedures and restrictions, search fees and more. However, if the agency offers free online access you can link to that site.
www.autoexchange.net/dmv: Links to all state Department of Motor Vehicle departments throughout the country. Some of them have access to vehicle registration information online.
www.bls.gov: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Go here to check on information about the unemployment rate, payroll employment and the average hourly rate.
www.business.gov: Created by the Small Business Administration and an interagency task force to help businesses interact better with the federal government. It is also a helpful site for journalists looking for business-related information.
www.sec.gov: Not just for the filings by public companies. The “Litigation” and “Regulatory actions” sections can also hold great information. The site also contains a daily news digest of information on recent commission actions, including enforcement proceedings, rule filings, policy statements, and upcoming commission meetings.,
www.10kwizard.com: Subscriber-based site that allows you to access SEC filings. One of the best features on this page is a search that allows you to look for particular words in all SEC filings -- a feature recently added by the SEC as well. Great way to find information about people or references to towns and cities.
www.statelocalgov.net/index.cfm: Access to more than 8,000 state and local government websites. This site is useful because it’s one of the few places that has links to multi-state government entities and national organizations such as the National Governors Association.
www.commerce.gov: Home page for the U.S. Department of Commerce. The country map under ‘Commerce Services and Offices Near You’ has links to local Commerce Department offices that can be helpful. Also go here for economic information on trade.
www.csbs.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home: Links to state banking regulators provided by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
www.epa.gov: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Click on the docket on the top of the home page to see Federal Register notices, support documents and public comments for regulations the agency publishes and various non-regulatory activities. Also a nice search engine of environmental information available by ZIP Code, which lists EPA regulated businesses.
www.epa.gov/epahome/regions.htm: Links to regional EPA offices and state environmental regulatory agencies.
www.fedstats.gov: The gateway to information from more than 100 U.S. agencies. Allows you to search by topic, by state, by region and by agency name.
www.fdic.gov: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is a federal agency that oversees bank deposits. One of the best pieces of information here is a monthly list of banks being reviewed for compliance for the Community Reinvestment Act. Go here to find out if a bank in your area is being looked at. There’s also market share data on individual banks available under “Bank Data.”
www3.fdic.gov/idasp: Financial institutions directory operated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Can find any bank holding company or location insured by the FDIC. Search results will tell you the bank’s total deposits and total assets.
www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/stateprofile: Another Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. site, this one has banking and economic conditions for each state, updated quarterly. Good, useful information for any banking and finance reporter.
www.ffiec.gov: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council is empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. Click on “Enforcement Actions.”
www.ftc.gov: The Federal Trade Commission has links to its formal actions, as well as a place to make Freedom of Information requests online for documents.
www.govexec.com/top200/2000top/index.htm: Want to know if a company you’re writing about does business with the federal government? This website lists the largest government contractors by agency.
www.statelocalgov.net/50states-secretary-state.cfm: This website contains links to all Secretary of State Internet websites with links to Internet addresses for online access to public records and information on corporations, partnerships, businesses and other entities, plus Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. The site www.llrx.com/columns/roundup29.htm also has info about states’ UCC filings.
www.nass.org: Another website that offers access to Secretary of State records. This one is run by the National Association of Secretaries of State. UCC filings are also available on the left-hand side of the page. You have to login to see this information now. Registration is free.
www.ncua.gov: The National Credit Union Administration, governed by a three-member board appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, is the independent federal agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. Click on “Credit Union Data” under the “Data and Services” menu at the top to find specific information about any credit union in the country.
vocserve.berkeley.edu/CenterFocus/CF8guide.html: A child labor resource guide. This site lists contacts at your state Department of Labor for information concerning your state child labor law.
www.bls.gov/iif/oshstate.htm: Bureau of Labor Statistics website that tracks occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities. Click on the state for the information you want.
www.dol.gov: The home page for the U.S. Department of Labor contains information about wages, health plans and benefits, unemployment. Also has a directory of Department of Labor offices around the country. The statistical summary at the bottom of the home page is a nice overview.
moneyline.cq.com/pml/home.do: Nice lobbyist directory, as well as information on how much money has been contributed to specific campaigns. There is a CQ MoneyLine User Guide under “Quick References” on the bottom right.
www.census.gov/econ/index.html: An index of U.S. Census Bureau information, from minority and women-owned businesses to building permits and manufacturer survey. Much of this data is broken down by state and county, making it vital information for virtually any reporter.
www.irs.gov/taxstats/index.html: Internal Revenue Service tax statistics are available here. Statistics are arranged by the number of returns filed, as well as returns filed by individuals, businesses and tax-exempt organizations.
patft.uspto.gov: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can search for issued patents as well as patent applications. Look up recent patent and trademark applications for your specific town or city.
www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm: Links to all state Insurance Departments, provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The information on the individual sites varies, with some having information about individual company rate hikes and others having no information at all about the industry.
www.treas.gov: The U.S. Department of Treasury. Click on “Key Topics” near the upper left side of the page to get discussions on everything from currency and coins to the Treasury Department’s Most Wanted List. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulate banks and thrifts, respectively, can be found under “Bureaus.”
www.fedworld.gov: A site maintained by the Department of Commerce, this has links to thousands of federal government Web locations. Go here if you’re stuck and don’t know where to find information, or are looking for a government employee.
www.usda.gov: Department of Agriculture home page. If you cover the agriculture, food or forest industries, this has plenty of information on recent issues affecting all of them.
www.utilityconnection.com/page5.asp: Links to state utility regulatory agencies across the country. Many of these are public service commissions that have access to dockets and lists of companies they regulate.
topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/white-collar_crime: The Legal Information Institute maintains this website with links to white collar crime enforcement agencies by state. Includes state attorney general offices, securities regulators and others.