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This guide lists acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by the United States federal government. Each acronym is defined and links to the home page (or best alternative) of the identified department, agency, office, program or publication.
While Appendix A of the U.S. Government Manual provided the foundation of GovSpeak, this expanded list includes hundreds of acronyms not included in that publication; most have been discovered by manual reviews of department websites. Links are checked and updated monthly.
Note: as of June 2011, GovSpeak no longer includes military acronyms. Please see instead the DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, available via the Joint Electronic Library.
6/4/22 - New!
- After reviewing links from the 2020 End of Term web archive, I'm working to add just over 600 new terms to GovSpeak. My focus was on science-related websites, such as EPA, NOAA, NASA, DOE, etc., though others were also reviewed. So far, all GovSpeak pages except C and N have been completed; the new items for those pages should be done by 6/13.
- As the new administration is reviewing/modifying websites, there was no link check in January. I'll pick up again at the end of February, as things should have settled a bit by then.
- With significant help from staff and student assistants, I've been working over the past weeks to make sure all of the GovSpeak links have been captured in the Internet Archive prior to the administration change. We're also reviewing agency websites to identify acronyms not already on GovSpeak, and have added many new terms.
- As things change under the new administration, some programs and other resources have new URLs. While I haven't done so in the past, I am now retaining the old URLs to allow easier tracking via the Wayback Machine. The primary link for a resource will go to the current site, with the older URL - pointing to the Wayback Machine - following immediately after and noted as (older link archive).
- Many acronyms/pages formerly associated with the White House website are not currently active. These are indicated on GovSpeak with the notation "defunct or inactive 1/17, WH transition," with that notation linking to the archived page of the previous administration. As the new administration's website is developed, I will review it frequently and update GovSpeak as possible.
- Several hundred new entries have been added in the past few weeks and I am actively working to add more. I'm currently reviewing all links nominated for the End of Term (EOT) project, adding entries for associated acronyms or abbreviations from those sites. Because GovSpeak links to the Wayback's archived content when a website dies or disappears, the guide can serve as a URL directory to help users find those archived pages.
- In anticipation of the Presidential transition, I have verified that each live link on GovSpeak has been captured recently by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. For any site that had not been captured on or after October 1, 2016 (or more recently for certain sites), I forced a new capture using the "save page now" feature.