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Sep
25

3 Government Databases You Must Know About to Stay Safe

3 Government Databases You Must Know About to Stay Safe

For over a decade, the United States has been on high alert to terrorist attacks, just as other parts of the world have too. There are so many world conflicts taking place that a country must take the proper precautions to protect its citizens.

In an effort to keep our country safe, the United States Government has put together several government databases listing known criminals, terrorists, products, and companies that may not do import and export business with the U.S. This also means that individuals or entities in the U.S. are forbidden to do business with any person or business that have been blocked, denied, and debarred and appear in these databases.

Where Do I Find the Government Databases?

There are websites that one can access easily to view the government databases. There are over 80 known lists to cross check whether a person or entity has been banned from doing business with the United States. When a U.S. company is conducting business with a foreign entity, it is the company’s responsibility to do their due diligence to ensure the safety of its country.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s site will provide several links to lists providing information on blocked and denied entities, as well as a debarred persons lists.

The agencies the site refers to are the Bureau of Industry and Security which will provide a Denied Persons List and Entity List

The Office of Foreign Assets Control which provides a Special Designated Nationals and Blocked Person List

The Office of Defense Trade Controls, which gives a Debarred Parties List

The U.S. Government Printing Office, which will provide the Federal Register. 

  • Each of these agencies is responsible for keeping its lists up-to-date. The purpose of the lists is to provide exporters with companies, entities, and persons sanctioned by the U.S. Government and are forbidden to export goods from the U.S. It is the job of the exporter to be sure they are conducting transactions using the proper procedures and that exports are authorized properly.
  • The U.S. Department of State is another site that can provide useful information to ensure the safety of the country. The site provides links to the following lists: The Foreign Terrorist Organizations List (FTO), which provides a list of names of individuals or organizations that are or have been known to conduct business with terrorist groups or themselves are part of a terrorist group. Once these targets are listed, they will not be allowed to travel in the U.S. and any financial accounts with U.S. institutions are frozen.The State Sponsors of Terrorism is a list of countries that have been directly involved with support of terrorist groups. Currently there are four countries on this list, which are Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Executive Order 13224, which was signed by President Bush in 2001, designates that the U.S. Government can impede terrorist funding. They have the power to stop financial support networks and block assets of foreigners or business that have given support to terrorists or pose a threat of doing so. The last link this site provides is to the Terrorism Designations Press Releases page, which lists the announcements from the Office of the Spokesperson as new terrorists or organizations are identified.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides a list of companies and individuals that are debarred under sections 306(a), (b)(1) and (b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which is published in the Federal Register. Not only does this site provide the names of the offenders, but it gives the effective date they were added to the list, how long they are barred, and in most cases, a document about the case is provided from the Federal Register.

All of the sites referenced not only have links to the various lists, but also provide detailed information on how the lists are determined and used. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of individuals and businesses to use reasonable care and due diligence when conducting business affairs with foreign countries.

Mar
28

Using Online Databases to Find Doctors

Online Databases to Find Doctors
If you’ve recently moved to a new region, or you just want to switch doctors, you can start using online databases to find doctors. Internet databases make the process of finding the right doctor easier. Many such databases now exist, and many are free to use.

Reliable doctor databases should tell you mostly everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision, including a given doctor’s;

  • specialty
  • educational background, training and place of residency
  • years of experience
  • insurance coverage

 Where do I start my search for a new doctor?

You might start your search for a doctor by looking at a basic database which supplies the items listed above, such as the one maintained by the American Medical Association.

You could also try the WebMD Physician Directory. The information WebMD’s directory provides is updated twice every year, and includes directions to the offices of each physician it lists. If you’re on Medicare, you’ll find a list of Medicare-enrolled doctors through the government-run website called Physician Compare. On this site you can search for doctors according to a number of different criteria. You may search, for instance, for a doctor by gender, or for doctors who speak languages in addition to English.

Once you have put together a short list of doctors who are available to you, you’ll probably want to delve deeper and examine quality of care issues for each name on your list. Vitals.com is one website that can help you with this task. Its review system asks volunteer reviewers to rate doctors on intriguing criteria, such as: How accurate are a doctor’s diagnoses? How well does she follow up? How easy is it to make an appointment with him? How’s her bedside manner? The descriptions of doctor experiences which patients provide are often very detailed here.

Online Databases to Find Doctors

The Rate MDs website makes for compelling browsing as well. For one thing, it includes regional “top ten lists”: for example, the top ten best dentists – as reviewed by patients – near Wichita, Kansas. And its store of patient reviews is enormous, among the most extensive of any doctor database. Users can even add their own photos of doctors to the site.

It’s also important to search the Internet for malpractice databases – that is, databases that compile lists of malpractice complaints formally lodged against doctors. For instance, Health Grades is a public database informing site visitors of doctors’ histories of malpractice claims, including court rulings and settlement facts and figures.

And the federal government runs a similar database called the National Practitioner Data Bank. However, the NPDB, which comprehensively tracks malpractice actions taken against doctors, has been the subject of controversy.

In fact, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), kept this database shut down for a time, a move supported by the American Medical Association. And even when the NPDB went online again in late 2011, it did not provide the names of doctors with histories of malpractice lawsuits. Rather, it simply referred to those doctors by identification numbers. Many public health advocates and journalists, however, have fought for full disclosure on this website regarding those accused of malpractice. Whichever way this battle ultimately gets resolved, you should look at this database or similar databases to see what information you can glean.

A few words of warning are in order. Beware of medical databases which aggressively try to sell you medical products or insurance plans, and databases which doctors must pay to get listed on. And remember that patient reviews, like all reviews, are highly subjective. Different people bring to their doctors different expectations. Further, in most cases there’s no way to confirm that an online reviewer who claims to have been a patient of a particular doctor actually was a patient of that doctor.

In short, using databases to find doctors is a great start. Try reading at least several reviews, as together they should provide an overall impression of a certain doctor. On the other hand, don’t place too much trust in any single review.

Dec
10

Franchise Tax Board Asset Location

Are you trying to find out who recommends SearchBug.com?   It’s easy to say we’re trusted by financial institutions, hospitals, collection agencies, Marketing firms, and Fortune 500 Companies and have references and public reviews, but that only goes so far.

Who does the Franchise Tax Board turn to when they need Asset Location information? Well, according to their Collection Procedures Manual, it’s Searchbug.

The image below is taken directly out of the California Franchise Tax Board Collection Procedures Manual under the Debtor Asset Location Section (page 5).

It shows that Searchbug.com is actually the only Internet Referenced Third Party Contact Resource listed. If you want to download the entire 68 page manual, click the image.

Third Party Contact as listed in the Franchise Tax Board Collection Procedures Manual SearchBug.com

When State of California Collection Agents need to do some online investigations, their Procedures Manual references SearchBug.com as their third party contact.  We hope this shows that we’re a little different than other online data providers.  If we can be trusted by the state of California, we hope you can trust that we’ll do our best to help you too.

We answer our phones and emails in a timely manner; and we honestly believe you should be able to trust and communicate with the people you choose to do business with. Give us a try, we hope to help you soon.

May
23

Public Record Safety Recall Databases

Public RecordUse the links below to access the databases and check out any of the Safety Recalls in the United States.

Boating Related Recalls:
Search the United States Coast Guard Boating Safety database for boating related recalls. Fields include MIC, company, problem, model, and/or model year.
Child Safety Seat Related:
Search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation database for child safety seat recalls.
Fire Related Product Recalls:
Search the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) database for fire-related product recalls and advisories. Fields include keyword, category, date range, and/or alert type.
Food, Drug & Cosmetic Safety:
Browse the U.S. Food and Drug Administration list of food, drug, and cosmetic recalls and safety alerts that have been issued in the past two (2) months.
Consumer Product Safety Commission:
CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products. You can find information on over 5,000 product recalls and recall alerts using the various searches below.
School Bus Recalls:
Browse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) list for school bus safety assurance program recall listings.
Tire Recalls:
Search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation database for vehicle tire recalls.
Vehicle Recalls:
Search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database for vehicle and equipment recalls by type, year, make, model, and optionally by component.