Federal Focus, Inc. is a non-profit research and educational foundation incorporated in the District of Columbia on March 24, 1986. It was granted tax-exempt status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, and designated as a private operating foundation under section 509(a) and 4942(j)(3) of the code, on July 20, 1987. The words "Federal Focus" were officially registered as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on November 4, 1986, and that registration attained "incontestable" status o March 8, 1994.
The foundation's tax-exempt (non-profit) status prohibits it from conducting any substantial "lobbying" activities, as defined in the IRS Code. 1 As required by the IRS Code, and by its own policies, Federal Focus attempts to the best of its ability to act and disseminate information and views that are objective, unbiased, and impartial. It cannot, and does not, represent "clients" or allow grantors or contributors to dictate or influence the contents of its work products. On the other hand, the foundation recognizes a duty to seek information and comments from outside experts and the general public, and therefore, it routinely solicits and accepts such input from a wide variety of governmental, research, academic, public advocacy, and business entities and individuals.
Past Operating Subunits of Federal Focus, Inc.
In the recent past, Federal Focus, Inc. has had two operating subunits associated with it science and policy missions. These included the following:
The Institute for Regulatory Policy (IRP)
- The IRP concentrated its efforts on federal regulatory policy issues, such as implementation of the Presidential Executive Order on Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866, September 30, 1993), the Regulatory Accounting Act of 1996 (Sec. 645 of P.L. 104-208), the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-13), the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-4), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (P.L. 96-254, as amended by P.L. 104-121), and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-62).
The Center for the Study of Environmental Endocrine Effects (CSEEE)
The CSEEE was dedicated to research and public education on the so-called "endocrine disruptor" issue. That issue concerns possible disruption of human and wildlife reproductive systems and fertility, various cancers, and neurological and immunological deficits from exposure to natural and synthetic chemicals and pharmaceutical agents. CSEEE was strictly science-oriented and did not involve itself in policy analysis. The core of CSEEE was a Science Panel comprised of academic experts in human and aquatic/wildlife toxicology and endocrinology.
The Federal Focus Jazz Band
In 1989, Federal Focus expanded its charter to include activities for the preservation of American traditional jazz (also known as "New Orleans" jazz), and the foundation's tax-exempt status was extended to this activity by the IRS. The impetus for this new activity was the apparent risk that this type of music was in danger of gradually dying out, despite the fact that this type of music incorporated a great deal of improvisation and depended heavily on oral traditions and "home-made" recordings, and many accomplished performers and composers were aging and passing away.
The aim of Federal Focus has been to revive and preserve this musical tradition by forming the Federal Focus Jazz Band and sponsoring talented young Washington-area musicians to learn and perform this type of music, and to obtain wider public exposure to the art form through performances and professionally-produced recordings.
1 Federal Focus experienced an infringement problem with another organization calling itself Federal Focus during the period from roughly towards the end of 1995 into early 1997. The "other Federal Focus" was a for-profit business also located in Washington, D.C., which conducted lobbying activities on behalf of industry clients. This clearly resulted in some confusion of the two organizations and their natures in various directories of organizations and in lobbying disclosure information required to be filed with Congress. It appears that by mid-1997, this situation was resolved without litigation through a name change by the other organization and corrections to directories and lobbying disclosure databases.