Government Docs

Transparency in U.S. government information?

SomeOne writes \"A story by Adam Clymer in the NY Times summarizes various differences between the Bush Administration and previous administrations on the question of access to government information.\"

They say The Bush administration is exhibiting a penchant for secrecy that has been striking to historians, legal experts and lawmakers of both parties.
\"Secrecy is a formula for inefficient decision-making,\" Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Radical change in libraries is running This Story on federal depository libraries.
They say federal depository libraries are empty now, not that students, teachers and data-oriented members of the general public have forsaken research, it's that they've turned to the Internet for most of it.
They also say it's more democratic to have electronic documents, since thatlets patrons get at the information anytime from anywhere they can log onto the Internet.

``If people are helping themselves to this stuff online, I don't know if they are getting what they really are after, or whether they are willing to just take what's there,'' said Santa Clara University's Carlson.

Just Like the Day They Died

SomeOne pointed to This Washington Post Story on The University of North Texas Libraries CyberCemetery. A site created to provide permanent public access to the electronic Web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.

Cost Cutting or Access Control: OMB Dismantling GPO?

For Searcher Magazine, Miriam Drake writes...

\"Since 1813, people seeking federal government information have relied on depository libraries. The notion of readily available government information for people has a long tradition that has delivered value to the people through the partnership of 1,300 depository libraries and the FDLP. Depository libraries spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to process, house, maintain, and disseminate online government information and documents in print and microform.

For more than 20 years, various administrations have challenged the GPO \"monopoly\" on printing under the guise of saving money. The money-saving arguments have rarely addressed fully, or at all, issues related to the costs of printing and methods of distribution and dissemination of information to the taxpayers who have paid to have the information created and published. The proponents of decentralized printing have neglected to acknowledge that agencies will incur extra costs administering a printing program carried out in-house or through contracts with private printers. Distribution through the FDLP and the sales program and critical issues of preservation and access usually are ignored when the cost-cutting arguments are being made.\" Read More.

A Step Toward Tyranny

Gary D. Price, MLIS, from ye olde ResourceShelf passed along This Story from The LA Times on how The Office of Management and Budget is encouraging federal agencies to bypass the Government Printing Office and let private companies bid for their jobs.
This spells trouble for the depository program. They add, of course, this is not the first time the Bush administration has veered away from openness and toward secrecy, and not always for national security reasons.

OMB to GPO: Drop Dead

Luis Acosta writes \"The Washington post has this story about how the Bush Administration\'s Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell Daniels wants to \"decentralize\" U.S. government printing by having agencies separately contract for printing, allegedly for \"efficiency\" purposes. This could destroy the Federal Depository Library Program administered by GPO and increase the proliferation of fugitive documents. ALA and other organizations are fighting this, but the Federal Executive Branch is a tough opponent. \"

Annotated Bibliography of Gov Docs Related to Terrorism And 9-11

Someone sent in This Annotated Bibliography of Government Documents Related to the Threat of Terrorism & the Attacks of September 11, 2001 from the Oklahoma
Dept. of Libraries.

\"This bibliography is intended to serve as a means of access to information produced by the United States Government concerning the events of September 11. Unlike so many of the nations of the world, the United States considers fundamental the right of its citizens to know what their government is doing, the logic behind its actions, and the ramifications of its policies. To this end, our government produces copious quantities of informational materials that are freely accessible to the public through libraries and the Federal Depository Library system. This bibliography presents a sampling of the materials available through the Depository system, via the Internet, or both.\"

Terrorist\'s Use of Planes as Missiles Predicted by Library of Congress Analyst.

A September 1999 report, \"The
Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?
written for the National Intelligence Council (
by Library of Congress\' Federal Research Division (FRD)
analyst Rex A. Hudson, predicted that \"suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida\'s
Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives
(C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), or the White House,\" and pointed out that \"Ramzi Yousef had
planned to do this against the CIA headquarters.\"

While only two sentences in a 100+ page graylit report trying to second
guess terrorist\'s methods, it sharply contradicted National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice\'s statement Thursday that, \"I don\'t think anybody could
have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into
the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon,
that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane
as a missile.\"
-Hermit !-|

(updated: 20020521- link fixed, kudos Lou Perryman)

updated: 20020920
The report\'s link has changed at least twice, try both if one doesn\'t

If neither work, check:

Giuliani\'s Mayoral Papers Private Status Contested.

    Some of public
servant Giuliani\'s mayoral papers are being declared \'private.
\' NY
State\'s Committee
on Open Government
director, Robert Freeman, believes this isn\'t
in accordance with NY\'s Freedom Of Information Law.  \"No document
or record that had been or is now maintained by any agency of City government
may in my opinion be characterized as \'private\' or \'belonging to\' the former
mayor or any other person,\" director Freeman explains in an advisory opinion
written in response to an AP request.  \"Giuliani
Records Deal Questioned.
\" -By Diego Ibarguen -AP via -FindLaw 2002/02/28
, however may foil NY\'s FOIL.
    LISNews keywords: FOIA
-|- Giuliani.-|-
-|- saklad

They giveth, and they taketh away...

rick sent in
This Story on The federal depository library program and how libraries are being ordered to pull materials from their collections.

\"It\'s really hard,\" the head librarian of the Government Documents Library at the University of Illinois said recently. \"We\'re librarians. We don\'t want to prevent access to information. We feel very strongly about that. That\'s why we\'re in the business.\"


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