Government Docs

EPA Moves To Close Libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "courant.com: In a bureaucratic form of hara-kiri, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is boxing up records and shutting down three of its regional libraries in anticipation of federal budget cuts.

Libraries in Dallas, Chicago and Kansas City will close at the end of this month. Public access to records will be curtailed — all in anticipation of the new federal budget year beginning in October."

Fed EPA Employees Not Covered By Whistleblower Act

Search Engines WEB writes "The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for fed workers under the Clean Water Act. As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Att Gen, fed workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures. Citing an unpublished opinion of the Att General's Office of Legal Counsel, the Secretary of Labor's Admin Review Board has ruled fed employees may no longer pursue whistleblower claims under the Clean Water Act. http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=743"

USGS Maps Held Hostage, Help Free Them

sarahmae writes "Via BoingBoing: Jared Bendict wants to put over 56,000 USGS maps in the public domain but he needs your help. Donate money to recoup the purchase cost and the maps will be made available on the Internet Archive.
Read more here."

New Discussions at FGI: August 28, 2006

While Best Titles Ever photographer Christine Gray has been busy updating the Flickr Best Titles Ever photo pool, guest blogger Peggy Garvin and the volunteers at Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info)(FGI) started the following discussions we hope you will join: Peggy's posts:

Volunteer posts:

No activity was observed at main FDSys site during the past week. As of this writing, the FDSys Blog has been silent since August 4th, with no new items for over three weeks. If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted.

EPA Begins Closing Libraries

PEER.org Says The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead this summer to shut down libraries, end public access to research materials and box up unique collections on the assumption that Congress will not reverse President Bush's proposed budget reductions, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At the same time, EPA's own scientists are stepping up protests against closures on the grounds that it will make their work more difficult by impeding research, enforcement and emergency response capabilities.

New FGI Discussions: August 21, 2006

This week guest blogger Peggy Garvin and the volunteers at Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info)(FGI) started the following discussions we hope you will join: Peggy's posts:

Volunteer posts:

No activity was observed at either the main main FDSys site or at the FDSys Blog during the past week. If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted.

Formatting for the Future

Anonymous Patron writes "Formatting for the Future - August 2006 Massachusetts leaders had a seemingly simple idea: Government documents produced by word processing, spreadsheet, database or presentation software belong to the public record, and therefore, should be created and stored in open formats that aren't tied to a particular program.

Massachusetts reasoned that storing electronic documents in proprietary formats might create situations where documents were held hostage by those formats. Important public documents could be rendered all but inaccessible when the applications that created them went out of style. This is where Massachusetts' simple idea got complicated."

New FGI Discussions: August 14, 2006

This week the volunteers at Free Government Information (FGI) (http://freegovinfo.info) updated our Best Titles Ever! page with more cover art and more titles suggested by govdoc-l members. In addition, we started the following discussions we hope you will join:

No activity was observed at either the main main FDSys site or at the FDSys Blog during the past week. If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted.

Comment on proposed reduction in NARA reading room

Richard writes "Archivists have a chance to be advocates for public access to government information "a core principle of archives" by commenting on a proposed reduction in NARA's reading room hours. The National Archives has announced plans to reduce the hours of its reading rooms at the Washington DC and College Park MD facilities. Specifically, it will cut evenings and weekends, with the result that records held by NARA will be available only during normal business hours. This cut in service is a direct result of a need to reduce operating expenses. You can find the rule at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061 800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/E6-11763.pdf. NARA held a public hearing last Thursday, 3 August. I spoke on behalf of the Society of American Archivists, expressing concern that this was a serious barrier to public access. Restricting reading room hours to business hours requires that many, maybe most, members of the public must take time off from work to use the collections. The effect is that they may have to pay for access in terms of lost wages. While I'm sure all archivists appreciate the challenges of budgets and the costs of extended hours, I believe it is essential for NARA to find some means to retain some extended hours. One option would be to remain open evenings or weekends, rather than both. Archivist Weinstein commented that he was committed to the principle of access to records. In other comments, the Archivist noted that public input would be a factor in the final determination of hours. You can help make the case for the importance of public access to public records by submitting comments online at www.regulations.gov. For the agency, select National Archives and Records Administration all. In the Keyword, type hours. Click submit, and you'll see an icon for adding comments. You can also send comments by fax (301-837- 0319) or by mail to Regulations Comments Desk (NPOL), Room 4100, Policy and Planning Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001."

New FGI Discussions: July 31, 2006

This week the volunteers at Free Government Information (FGI) (http://freegovinfo.info)
  were very busy as we bid farewell to June/July guest blogger Jessamyn West and updated our Best titles ever! page with cover art and more titles suggested by govdoc-l members. Along the way Daniel started the following discussions we hope you will join:

There was significant FDSys related activity at both at the main FDSys site and the FDSys blog in the past week. The main FDSys site posted a GPO Road Map to the Future and a white paper on optimizing OCR accuracy. The FDSys Blog featured another biweekly update that announced that the Master Integrator contract is likely to be awarded in early August and provided information on a meeting of the "Interagency Council for Digital Content Submission." Please see their blog for full details. If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted.

Syndicate content