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Free Government Information has a new unscientific poll on how or whether libraries and individuals save electronic government documents. Please hop over and provide an opinion. Feel free to tell us what you think about the subject - three others already have.
Free Government Information (FGI)'s blogger of the month is Cindi Wolff. Cindi's interests are in open access and govt information. We're loooking forward to seeing what she has to say! In the meantime, here are stories that FGI Volunteers have started in the past few weeks:
No FDSys related activity has been observed either at the main FDSys site or at their blog, which has been dormant since January. 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.
Anonymous Patron writes "From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Last week the National Archives acknowledged that, soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it struck a secret, classified agreement with the Central Intelligence Agency spelling out how the two federal agencies would work together to remove documents from the archives' shelves for the purpose of reclassification. Since the deal became public, the archives has moved quickly to denounce it and to push to declassify the agreement, which is now available online."
"New FGI Discussions" has been hiatus since April 8th, but both our guest blogger Shane Mackey and the Free Government Information volunteers have been busy these past few weeks: Shane's entries:
The GPO folks running the Future Digital System project have been active as well. While the FDSys Blog has been inactive since January 24, 2006, the main FDSys site has posted an amendement to their RFP and posted an updated requirements document. 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. With this issue, "New FGI Discussions" resumes it's regular weekly schedule. Come and join the discussions!
The National Archives will no longer enter into secret agreements with federal agencies that want to withdraw records from public access on Archives shelves and will do more to disclose when documents are removed for national security reasons.
The new policy cannot guarantee full disclosure, however, because in some cases federal regulations limit the Archives' ability to reveal which agency is reviewing records and why, said Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Archives.
FCW Reports The Government Printing Office has set aggressive deadlines to acquire a digital dissemination system that will transform a 19th-century printing office into a 21st-century electronic information agency. But some procurement experts say GPOâ€™s haste could slow its Future Digital System project.
Last week, GPO requested bids for a master integrator to design an electronic system for disseminating government publications. Vendors have 30 days to respond to the request for proposals, after which GPO will begin an extensive evaluation of the submissions. GPO officials said they hope to award a contract this summer.
Today's All Things Considered (audio link, see also ABC News for text coverage) investigates a contract the Smithsonian Institution made with Showtime, granting some exclusive rights to the network. The deal is raising the hackles of some filmmakers.
Compare to the for-profit publishing of government documents, Coke's sponsorship of the Library of Congress, and the much-maligned NIH proposal to make tax-funded research public (or the hawking of virgin forests or arctic wildlife habitats, but I digress).
Is the government selling rights to national treasures off like this warranted?
The NYTimes Takes Another Look at the recent moves to pull some 55,000 pages of decades-old documents from public access at the National Archives. Some documents were photocopied long ago by researchers. In the case of the redacted 1946 memorandum, the State Department had already published it in the multivolume history "Foreign Relations of the United States." At a House hearing last month, Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut denounced what he called an "absurd effort to put the toothpaste back into the tube" and demanded an explanation.
The National Archives and Records
Administration secretly agreed to a covert effort, led by the Air Force,
the CIA, and other still-hidden intelligence entities, to remove
open-shelf archival records and reclassify them while disguising the
results so that researchers would not complain, according to a previously
secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The secret agreement, made
between the Air Force and the National Archives, was declassified pursuant
to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive
and posted on the NARA website yesterday...
"This secret agreement reveals nothing less than a covert operation to
white-out the nation's history, aided and abetted by the National
Anonymous Patron writes "U.S. Newswire: For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration has made available online more than 400,000 State Department telegrams and other records for 1973 and 1974. These digital records from the Department of State's Central Foreign Policy Files are publicly accessible at the National Archives Web site at http://www.archives.gov/aad."