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[[Steven_Aftergood|Steven Aftergood]] over at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government Secrecy to (which you should all subscribe!) recently posted this CRS Report describing access to federal records over time as “increasingly complicated, costly, and potentially impossible.”
We really appreciate Mr Aftergood’s work over the years to shake loose and make publicly accessible government documents and especially CRS reports which are in the public domain but not distributed to the public or to FDLP libraries. Here’s more on CRS reports.
Thanks also to Sabrina Pacifici at the beSpacific blog for posting about it (and you should all subscribe to beSapcific too!).
Retaining and Preserving Federal Records in a Digital Environment: Background and Issues for Congress. Wendy Ginsberg, Analyst in American National Government. July 26, 2013
“All federal departments and agencies create federal records “in connection with the transaction of public business.” The Federal Records Act, as amended (44 U.S.C. Chapters 21, 29, 31, and 33), requires executive branch departments and agencies to collect, retain, and preserve federal records, which provide the Administration, Congress, and the public with a history of public-policy execution and its results. Increasing use of e-mail, social media, and other electronic media has prompted a proliferation of record creation in the federal government. The variety of electronic platforms used to create federal records, however, may complicate the technologies needed to capture and retain them. It is also unclear whether the devices and applications that agencies currently use to create and retain records will be viable in perpetuity—making access to federal records over time increasingly complicated, costly, and potentially impossible.”
[Cross posted on Legalresearchplus.com]
The New York State Office for Technology and the New York State Archives, has just issued a report that “examines how the state can provide choice, interoperability and vendor neutrality in electronic document creation while ensuring electronic records are preserved and remain accessible.”
“The report [“A Strategy for Openness: Enhancing E-Records Access in New York State”] recommends establishing a statewide, cross-government Electronics Records Committee to address, in a formal, long-term and collaborative manner, all aspects of electronic record creation, management and preservation. The committee would facilitate state agency adoption, place the vendor community on notice of the state’s strategic direction and long-term commitment for technology openness, and ensure this commitment is institutionalized throughout the state enterprise and survives government leadership transitions. Another recommendation suggests the committee develops and publishes a final open records policy, and begins issuing a series of standards and guidelines for implementing the policy.”
Hat tip to BeSpacific