Government Docs

Government Printing Office Revises Access Policy

Durst writes "Government Executive News has a story about GPO's policy regarding public access to agency information.

The new policy requires a more detailed review of why an agency wanted to withdraw, withhold or restrict access to a document, and whether alternative options could be used. The option would depend on what the agency wanted to do. For example, if they wanted to withdraw a publication, the option might be to edit it so it can be printed anyway. If they wanted to hold a publication, the option might be to put a timeline on how long it's held.


GPO to discontinue nearly all print distro by Oct 2005

An ALA Washington Office Press Release is extremely disturbing, if correct:

ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 14, Number 6
January 27, 2005

In This Issue: Call for Oversight on GPO Initiatives


We are writing to ask you to contact your Members of Congress to tell them about GPO's proposed plan that would eliminate almost all print distribution to depository libraries beginning October 1, 2005. Urge them to support a call for an oversight hearing on the impact of the
Government Printing Office's (GPO) proposed initiatives and changes to the Federal Depository Library Program and the impact on the public's
permanent access to authentic government information.

Use our Legislative Action Center> to send a letter, or use the toll-free free number to call members of Congress: 1-800-839-5276.

We also urge you to send copies of your letters to Public Printer Bruce James ([email protected] / fax: 202-512-1347) and to Superintendent of Documents Judith C. Russell ([email protected] / fax: 202-512-1432).

We will send out a separate ALAWON Alert on the GPO budget issue when their budget request is officially submitted.


The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)was established by Congress more than 150 years ago as a geographically dispersed system to provide no-fee public access to government information and has proven to be a very successful partnership among Congress, federal agencies, the courts, the Government Printing Office (GPO), depository libraries, and the American public in ensuring the public's right to know.

At ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Boston, GPO informed the library community that their FY 2006 Salaries and Expenses (S&E) appropriations request for the FDLP will be for level funding (at the 2005 level), plus cost of living increases. One result of this request will be drastic changes in the distribution of print materials to our Nation's federal depository libraries. These proposed changes would take effect October 1, 2005.

Among the changes, the key is that GPO would produce and distribute in print only the 50 titles listed on the "Essential Titles for Public Use in Paper Format." The Essential Titles List", last revised in 2000, does not include important materials including maps, geological information, administrative decisions and other congressional
and legal materials, as well as Senate and House reports, documents, and hearings that inform the citizenry of the workings of Congress. All other agency information will be disseminated only in electronic format to depository libraries - whether they are equipped to handle this format adequately and whether or not this is the most usable format for their publics. This decision, if allowed to go forward, will have a profound negative impact on access to authenticated government information in formats most usable to the American public.

Second, to supplement the "Essential Titles" publications, GPO will initiate a Print on Demand (POD) Allowance Program of $500 for selective
depository libraries and $1500 for the 53 regional depository libraries for purchase of other titles. GPO is, in effect, asking Congress to support and depository libraries to accept a new fee-based Print on Demand Program that has not yet been established or tested.

GPO outlines digital conversion plans

Anonymous Patron writes " Reports The Government Printing Office over the next two years will transform the way it collects, authenticates, stores and shares federal documents.

By December 2007, GPO will implement the Digital Content System and update processes for collecting and storing past, present and future government records."

National Archives Recovers Missing Artifacts

Anonymous Patron writes "A sliver of Good News from where they say the feds have recovered some of the irreplaceable artifacts missing or stolen from the National Archives. Artifacts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are missing.

The college yearbook of former President Ronald Reagan, valued at $20,000, is just one of the treasures that now has been found by the Inspector General of the Archives. Letters from Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant also have been recovered."

Where to Find Hard-to-Find Government Info on Web

Here's a link-rich piece from Wired about where to find US government information that's not readily found.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission shuts down its online library temporarily

On October 25, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began a second security review of its publicly available documents to make sure the website doesn't contain any sensitive information. In the meantime, the NRC's online document library, ADAMS, won't be available to the public. After the first review, made after September 11, 2001, more than one thousand documents were removed from the NRC's website.

Duelfer Report being sent to Depository Libraries

The following message was distributed over the FDLP-L listserv:

The Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (Duelfer Report) released September 30, 2004, will be distributed to all depository libraries in a tangible format (paper). It will also be available for sale by GPO.

To provide immediate access to the report, it was processed as an EL title.
The Report is cataloged, OCLC # 56664487, and a PURL has been assigned,

The entire report will be disseminated to Federal depository libraries in
three volumes. A separate volume of key findings, which were extracted from
the report, will also be distributed. The following SuDoc numbers have been

  • PREX 3.2:IR 1/V.1
  • PREX 3.2:IR 1/V.2
  • PREX 3.2:IR 1/V.3
  • PREX 3.2:IR 1/KEY

In addition to the volumes above, depository libraries will receive chronologies in the form of six-foot fold-outs.

Daniel wonders if this will join the 9/11 report on the bestseller list?

New DoD Search Engine

Durst writes "I apologize for all the acronyms. This is for those of you that end up doing reference for anyone in the military.

Yesterday a new DoD (Department of Defense) search capability opened up at This first phase will use a DTIC-hosted DoD search engine to search over 100 DoD public web sites. Eventually they hope to index the entire public DoD Domain."

Daniel adds: For those keeping score, DTIC stands for Defense Technical Information Center. In addition to DoD web sites, the search engine lets you search news by specific kinds of releases (i.e. news releases, transcripts, background briefings, etc.)

Trudeau cabinet confronted Information Age in 1973

Anonymous Patron writes "Trudeau cabinet confronted Information Age back in 1973; No one had heard of the Internet back then and Canada's freedom-of-information law was still a decade away.

But the cabinet of Pierre Trudeau grappled with the emerging Information Age in 1973, forging early policies on computer communications and access to public records, newly disclosed documents show."

E-forms and government - an oxymoron?

Durst writes "From the Office of Management and Budget to local state courts, XML and PDF seem to be going hand-in-hand when it comes to filling out and submitting electronic forms. Government Computer News has the details."


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