Tournament reporters have access to the Downloads page of this web site where they can download files containing the latest ratings of anyone (including non-members) who has ever had their rating calculated by the ICU. These files can be used to import player data into the pairing programs SwissPerfect and SwissManager. The file for SwissManager, being plain text, can be opened with a text editor.
Currently there are two versions of the data: latest published and latest live corresponding to two different methods of compiling player ratings. Controllers are free to use which ever version suits their needs best. This article describes the differences between the two versions.
Both versions make use of the legacy list. This is the handover data from the previous rating system to the new rating system (this web site). It includes the published ratings of all ICU members (about 900 players) in September 2011 and what would have been the published ratings of all other players known at that time (another 8300) had they been members.
A player's lastest published rating is the one in the latest published list (or the one that would have been in that list if the player had been a member at the time of publication).
A player's latest live rating is simply their rating from the last tournament they played in after September 2011.
In either case, if no such rating exists (the player hasn't played any tournaments since 2011) then the legacy rating is used, or if that doesn't exist then the player has no rating.
In short, published ratings refer to the latest rating list publication time (January, May or September) while live ratings are more up-to-date. Also, published ratings (actual published ratings, not the would-have-beens for non-members) tend to be treated as more official by the ICU, for example for team selection and WAR.
Prior to 2012 live ICU ratings were not readily available. Now that they are, tournament controllers need to decide which version of a player's rating is used to determine eligibility to enter graded sections and which version to import into pairing programs.
It would be possible to employ both versions: for example, official published ratings for eligibility and latest live ratings in the pairing program. In any case, the decision of which version(s) to use is delegated to tournament controllers and organisers.
Note that whatever ICU ratings are used in pairing programs and subsequently used in tournament reports, they play no part in the rating process. The appropriate start ratings to use for ICU members are determined by the rating program from data in the rating database, not by ratings supplied in tournament reports.