The National Academy Of Public Administration has released its report on the Government Printing Office.
- Rebooting The Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age, A Report by a Panel of the National Academy Of Public Administration for the U.S. Congress, Congressional Research Service, and the Government Printing Office. National Academy Of Public Administration, Washington, DC (January 2013).
Congress mandated that the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) conduct a broad operational review of GPO. The Academy formed a five-member Panel of Fellows to conduct a ten-month study of the agency’s current role, its operations, and its future direction.
The report contains 27 finding and 15 recommendations. Depository libraries will be particularly interested in three findings:
- III-3: Preservation of the Legacy (Tangible) Government Collection
- III-4: Preservation of the Digital Government Collection
- III-5: Government Information Dissemination and Access
The report repeats many of the tropes about the digital government information that have become familiar over the years. Some of these bear repeating and others are more questionable.
Perhaps the most troubling suggestion in the report is GPO should consider "cost recovery" for access to FDsys:
Now may be the time for GPO to revisit charging the public for access to FDsys content. The Academy convened a forum of experts on printing and publishing where this topic was discussed extensively. Participants noted that technologies for online payments have progressed to the point that they cost very little to administer. Also, the public is becoming accustomed to paying fees for government services that used to be free (such as admittance to National Parks). Rather than charge a publication price, GPO could explore charging a small user fee to recoup the cost of providing access to government information on FDsys, or allowing users to view documents for free, and charging for document downloads. Forum participants also discussed the possibility of GPO exploring opportunities for repackaging files and content in different ways and making them available for sale to the public.
This model (as the report notes) was tried before with GPO Access and failed. We would argue that it failed not because the "technologies of online payments" were inadequate at the time, but because attempting to charge fees for information that was also available without fees was a fundamentally flawed approach. (We have written about this issue many times. See for example: Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program and Privatization of GPO, Defunding of FDsys, and the Future of the FDLP.)
There is much more in the report and it deserves careful scrutiny.
This is good news that GPO is going to go through the Trustworthy Digital Repositories (TDR) audit process for FDsys! The audit process looks at a repository to assure both its technical AND organizational infrastructure are in place for the long-term preservation of its digital objects and assets.
To my mind then, 2 of the most important pieces of the TDR audit process are "digital object management" -- including especially ingest of content -- AND "appropriate, formal succession plan, contingency plans, and/or escrow arrangements in place in case the repository ceases to operate or the governing or funding institution substantially changes its scope." I hope that the process looks at GPO's participation in the LOCKSS-USDOCS program as one of its key pieces in terms of "appropriate, formal succession plan, contingency plans, and/or escrow arrangements."
In January 2013, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) will begin an audit process for GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) to become a certified Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR).
GPO completed an internal audit of FDsys in 2011. It is very imp>rtant to ensure FDsys stakeholders, including Federal depository libraries and the general public, that GPO’s official system of record provides permanent public access to Government information ingested into it. TDR certification from an external party offers such assurances, and other benefits as well.
The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is conducting the audit. They will use metrics and criteria published by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Research Libraries Group (RLG), and CRL, which are the basis for ISO Standard 16363 for Trusted Digital Repositories.
During the audit CRL will examine elements such as organizational infrastructure, governance, policy framework, funding, digital object management, ingest, access, preservation, metadata, and technologies, technical infrastructure, and security. For more details about the elements and measures see Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist.
Completion of the CRL audit is expected by September 2013. GPO is the first Federal agency to seek external certification as a Trustworthy Digital Repository.
Read more about the audit and certification process from fdlp.gov.
Here's another benefit to being Federal Depository Library: GPO and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) have just announced a collaborative effort to get better online access to Public Health Reports -- the official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service at http://www.publichealthreports.org/ -- for FDLP libraries. Depositories will now have the option of selecting IP access or the use of a username and password. For more information, please visit the FDLP Desktop.
A little bit of background: PHR has been published since 1878. The first volume, published under the title "Bulletins of the Public Health," was issued by the Supervising Surgeon-General under the National Quarantine Act of April 29, 1878. It became partially privatized and published for U.S. Public Health Service by Oxford University Press (2001-2003), then by Elsevier, in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health (2004) and then by ASPH, 2005 - present.
- U.S. Government Printing Office Selects SDL Technology to Digitally Manage and Publish U.S. Congressional Legislation, September 12, 2012 09:32 ET.
SDL (LSE:SDL), the leading provider of Global Information Management solutions, today announced that one of the world's largest digital information facilities, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), has selected SDL to automate the publishing process for printing and accessing select Congressional and Federal agency legislation. GPO provides the three branches of the U.S. federal government with expert publishing and printing services and awarded SDL the Composition System Replacement (CSR) contract following a rigorous search and evaluation process.
All U.S. Congressional legislation will be published using SDL XML Professional Publisher (XPP™), an automated XML publishing engine for the production of high-volume and complexly formatted publications. SDL XPP software will integrate with GPO's Federal Digital System and be the central point for composition of content for print and online access. SDL XPP replaces a proprietary system that was developed internally but could not scale to support the growth of the GPO.
- Government Printing Office adopts internal XML system, By Joseph Marks, Government Executive (September 12, 2012).
The Government Printing Office is adopting a new system that will manage and publish congressional bills and other publications entirely in a pared down and machine-readable XML format, the company providing the system announced Wednesday.
GPO plans to launch a “proof of concept” for the new system with congressional bills before expanding it to other publications such as the Federal Register and the Congressional Record, Chief Technology Officer Ric Davis told Nextgov.
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the Legislative Branch 2013 budget. According to the August 2, 2012 press release, GPO’s budget request was fully funded and will include:
- $83.7 million for Congressional Printing and Binding
- $34.7 million for Salaries and Expenses of the Superintendent of Documents
- $7.8 million for the revolving fund
- $126.2 million total
Government Printing Office - $126.2 million – This funding level is identical to the fiscal year 2012 enacted level in total funding. At the recommended levels, Congressional Printing and Binding will be funded at $83.632 million. This is a 7.8% reduction from the fiscal year 2012 enacted level and is identical to the request level. Within this reduced funding level, full funding is provided for printing the 2012 edition of the U.S. Code, which is published every six years under authority of Title 2, U.S. Code.
The amount recommended for Salaries and Expenses is $34.7 million, which is a reduction of $272,000 from the enacted level. This funding level would allow the GPO to continue mission requirements ordered by the Congress.
The bill would provide $7.8 million for GPO’s Revolving Fund for critical maintenance of printing systems. Of this amount:
- $3.4 million is for Information Technology Projects such as development of a replacement system for the XML system, and replacement of systems critical to GPO’s network security monitoring and protection;
- $3.8 million is for Federal Digital System Projects; and
- $460,000 is for fire and safety projects at GPO facilities.
Also in the bill, the Library of Congress' budget allocation is slated for $592.2 million. The bill would provide an additional $4.9 million for the LOC, which is an increase of 0.8% above the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. This funding level assumes current staffing levels.
There's still some haggling to be done with House Legislative Branch FY13 appropriations bill -- most notably the revolving fund is only budgeted at $4,096,000 rather than the Senate's proposed $7.8 million. Stay tuned!
The Interagency Depository Seminar is a week long event regarded by most of the librarians we know as one of the best events a government information specialist can attend. As the name implies, instructors from other agencies come and provide in-depth training and insight into the information products from their agencies.
Traditionally this has been an in-person event. For the first time this year, GPO will be webcasting parts of the event, according to this e-mail sent to the FDLP-L list:
From: Announcements from the Federal Depository Library Program [mailto:GPO-FDLP-L@LISTSERV.ACCESS.GPO.GOV] On Behalf Of FDLP Listserv
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:23 AM
Subject: Join the Interagency Depository Seminar from Afar!
Next week for the first time, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) will provide remote access to portions of the Interagency Depository Seminar. The virtual sessions are free, but registration is required. Register now and join us live for four segments of the Seminar:
07/30/2012 -- Monday morning: 8:30 AM - Noon (Eastern Time)
* Welcome & Introductions
* History of GPO
* LTIS Update
* Education & Outreach
07/30/2012 -- Monday afternoon: 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)
* Federal Reserve Bank's FRASER, FRED, and ALFRED
* DSIMS: Depository Selection Information Management System
08/02/2012 -- Thursday afternoon: 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)
* U.S. Geological Survey
* U.S. Department of State
* National Agricultural Library
* National Library of Medicine
08/03/2012 -- Friday morning: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Eastern Time)
* Introduction to GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys)
* Advanced Navigation in GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys)
* Closing Remarks and Adjourn
Once your registration is completed, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for logging into the virtual Interagency Depository Seminar sessions. Virtual attendees will receive certificates of participation. Contact Cindy Etkin (email@example.com) if you have questions.
We at FGI have long advocated for more distance training opportunities for government documents librarians and other government information stakeholders. We haven't been alone. And for the past few years, the Government Printing Office has been listening. This latest advance comes on the heels of a number of online classes for FDSys and other Federal resources.
Thanks GPO for continuing to expand opportunities for librarians and other staff not available to travel. We especially appreciate you webcasting from your signature training event!
1. Link to Full Text of CRS Report
2. Complete Summary From Report
3. Link to FCW Article
4. Link to FierceGovernmentIT Article
From the CRS Summary
The transition to digital information raises a number of issues of possible interest to Congress. This report discusses those possible concerns as they affect FDLP. These issues, which are in some cases interrelated, may not only affect FDLP, but also extend beyond the program to a variety of contexts related to the management of government information in tangible and digital forms. Issues include the following: maintenance and availability of the FDLP tangible collection; retention and preservation of digital information; access to FDLP resources; authenticity and accuracy of digital material; robustness of the FDLP Electronic Collection; and the costs of FDLP and other government information distribution initiatives.
Time once again for a selection of news and new resources that we hope will be an interest to the FGI community. The following posts are from INFOdocket.com (@infofodocket) where we compile and post new items daily. The oldest item in this roundup was posted on January 26, 2012.
Daniel Schuman went to the hearing today on budgets for GPO, LoC, GAO, and CBO. On the Sunlight Foundation blog, he reports on the tiny room, the lack of space for the public, and he posts documents that were handed out:
- An almost live look at today's H. Leg Branch Approps hearing, by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation, (Feb. 7, 2012).
The new acting Public Printer, Davita Vance-Cooks, gives her opening remarks.
GPO Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2012 No. 12-10
ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER PRESENTS APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013
WASHINGTON-Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks presented the FY 2013 appropriations request for the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) today before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations. GPO is requesting no increase over the level of funding the agency is receiving for FY 2012 due to savings garnered from cost-cutting activities last year as well as projected workload changes for FY 2013. GPO's budget request also includes a significant shift in funding away from conventional printing and distribution toward digital systems. The current level of $126.2 million is a 6.6% reduction from FY 2011 and about a 15% reduction from FY 2010. GPO's funding level for FY 2013 is provided through three separate accounts in the annual Legislative Branch Appropriations bill:
. The Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation covers the cost of information products in digital and print formats that GPO produces for Congress. About 70% of this cost is for preparing the electronic files used for both digital access and printing. For FY 2013, GPO is requesting $83.6 million, a decrease of about $7 million.
. The Salaries and Expenses Appropriation of the Superintendent of Documents primarily covers the cost of the Federal Depository Library Program, which works in partnership with 1,220 libraries nationwide to provide public access to Federal Government information. For FY 2013, GPO is requesting $34.7 million, a decrease of about $300,000.
. The GPO Revolving Fund receives appropriated funds for specific technology investment and facility improvements. For FY 2013, GPO is requesting $7.8 million. The request includes funding for the continued development of GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) to support increased online access to congressional and Federal agency information as well as other digital information technology improvements.
GPO achieved significant savings in FY 2011 by reducing unnecessary overhead expenses and conducting a buyout that helped reduce staffing by about 15%. As a result, GPO achieved positive net income of $5.6 million for the year. The agency, whose information production and dissemination operations have transitioned to digital technologies, is currently operating with its smallest workforce in more than a century.
"GPO is doing more with less in meeting the digital information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public," said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. "GPO's plan of reducing costs while continuing to expand services to our customers is working and showing real and measurable benefits."