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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Public comment open until Nov 20 on OMB Circular A-130

[UPDATE 11/20/15: OMB has extended the commenting period for 15 days until December 5, 2015. JRJ]

Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-130 Managing Information as a Strategic Resource — along with the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 94 Stat. 2812, which “establishes a broad mandate for agencies to perform their information resources management activities in an efficient, effective, and economical manner” — has had a *huge* negative impact on the work of libraries and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and has had many unintended consequences for access to and preservation of Federal government information. It has made GPO’s work in maintaining the national bibliography much harder because A-130 and PRA have given Executive agencies broad leeway in publishing their information without regard for Title 44, GPO, and description and distribution of FDLP materials to libraries.

But now, OMB has requested comment on A-130 — via GitHub no less! — which hasn’t been updated since 2000. So here’s a chance for depository librarians and others to let OMB know how they can edit A-130 in order to assure free public access to — and most importantly preservation of! — federal government information and help libraries and librarians across the country deliver access and services to their communities.

We outlined some of FDLP’s needs in our 2010 Letter to Deputy CTO Noveck: “Open Government Publications” and in other places. Basically, we need executive agencies to work with GPO in creating and maintaining the national bibliography. We need executive agencies to create and follow Web standards and design their sites to make it easier for the GPO and FDLP to do their jobs — and by extension make it easier for the public to access federal information. For example, each agency should have ../publications and ../data directories (and others like ../video etc) on their sites, all of their publications should have permanent urls in the form of DOIs or some other standard, agencies should deposit their publications in FDsys.gov and their data in data.gov.

Please consider submitting comments so that the FDLP can have a federal information policy that helps libraries and GPO do their jobs.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing for the first time in fifteen years revisions to the Federal Government’s governing document establishing policies for the management of Federal information resources: Circular No. A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource. More specifically, Circular A-130 provides general policy for the planning, budgeting, governance, acquisition, and management of Federal information resources. It also includes appendices outlining agency responsibilities for managing information, supporting use of electronic transactions, and protecting Federal information resources.

The proposed revisions to the Circular are the result of new statutory requirements and enhanced technological capabilities since the last update to the Circular in 2000. Modernizing this policy will enable OMB to provide timely and relevant guidance to agencies and will ensure that the Federal IT ecosystem operates more securely and more efficiently while saving tax dollars and serving the needs of the American people.

The proposed Circular reflects a rapidly evolving digital economy, where more than ever, individuals, groups, and organizations rely on information technology to carry out a wide range of missions and business functions. Information technology changes rapidly and the Federal workforce managing IT must have the flexibility to address known and emerging threats while implementing continuous improvements. This update acknowledges the pace of change and the need to increase capabilities provided by 21st century technology while recognizing the need for strong governance and safeguarding of taxpayer funded assets and information.

The proposed guidance is now open for public comment on this page. The public feedback period will be 30 days, closing on November 20, 2015. Following the public feedback period, OMB will analyze all submitted feedback and revise the policy as necessary.

via Circular A-130 Managing Information as a Strategic Resource.

OMB proposes to eliminate, consolidate 376 reports

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has compiled a list of recommendations for consolidating or eliminating congressionally-mandated reports to Congress. The list is based on information supplied by the agencies themselves.

See also:

Sources for Finding Mandated Reports to Congress by U.S. Federal Agencies, Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C., (Last updated on December 14, 2012).

OMB issues Managing Government Records Directive

M-12-18, Managing Government Records Directive (August 24, 2012) (7 pages, 2.62 mb).

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES Office of Management and Budget From Jeffrey D. Zients, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget, and David S.Ferriero, Archivist of the United States SUBJECT: Managing Government Records Directive.

This Directive creates a robust records management framework that complies with statutes and regulations to achieve the benefits outlined in the Presidential Memorandum. This Directive was informed by agency reports submitted pursuant to Sec. 2 (b) of the Presidential Memorandum and feedback from consultations with agencies, interagency groups, and public stakeholders.

This Directive requires that to the fullest extent possible, agencies eliminate paper and use electronic recordkeeping. It is applicable to all executive agencies and to all records, without regard to security classification or any other restriction.

This Directive also identifies specific actions that will be taken by NARA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to support agency records management programs. In addition, NARA will undertake a review to update relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations to take into account the provisions of this Directive.

Gary’s Thursday Roundup: NLRB, Internet Archive, Ancestry.com, U.S. Census, and Much More (17 Items)

Hello From DC (I mean Shakeytown, it Was My First Quake) Everyone.

As we prepare for our next event around hear and elsewhere along the east coast I thought it might be a good time to share a mountain of news, new resources, and other goodies with all of you.

The material comes from posts Shirl Kennedy and I made to our INFOdocket.com site. This is just a small amount of what we post seven days a week. Plus, we also provide FullTextReports.com. New reports are listed in the left rail (Thanks Jim and James)

We both hope you find and item or two of interest in the following update. More very soon. (-:

1. Hurricane Irene: FEMA’s National Situation Daily Update Available Online & Natl. Hurricane Center Mobile Resources

2. New Web Site: Feds Launch Performance.gov, Now Publicly Accessible

3. Acquisitions: Bloomberg is Buying BNA for $990 Million

4. US Department of Labor Improves Enforcement Databases Including Visualization/Animation Tools

5.U.S. History: “Rare Footage Unearthed Online”

6. New From the Internet Archive: “Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive”

7.“Google Forfeits $500 Million Generated by Online Ads & Prescription Drug Sales by Canadian Online Pharmacies”
The full text of the statement from the USDOJ and FDA

8. Washington Post Op/Ed: “Don’t Kill America’s Databook” (U.S. Census Statistical Abstract)

9. NLRB — Acting General Counsel Releases Report on Social Media Cases

10. Back to School 2011-2012: Facts About Schools, Students and Teachers From the U.S. Census

11. 1940 U.S. Census to be Free on Ancestry.com

12. Government Information: GPO Releases API For FederalRegister.gov (Formal Announcement)

13. Teen Dating Violence: A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography
From the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress

14. Update: More Digitized Historic U.S. Government Economic and Banking Documents and Reports via FRASER

15. A Look at a Few Resources Using U.S. Department of Agriculture Open Data

16. Cook County, IL: New online database lets anyone see who has outstanding warrants

17. Federal Agencies Take Action to Digitally Document Nearly 50 Endangered Languages

OMB Watch suggests information is a customer service

Recently, President Obama issued an executive ordering the streamlining of federal websites. Last week, OMB Watch sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget with recommendations for its guidance on implementing the order including the suggestion that “customer service doesn’t always look like filling out a form or receiving a payment. Providing information is a major government service….”

Informing and engaging the public is a critical government service for many agencies, and improving those services should properly be considered within the scope of the order;

Successfully soliciting meaningful customer feedback requires embracing the principles of participation and collaboration embodied in President Obama’s memorandum on transparency and open government; and

Agencies should be mindful that, although they may use customer service considerations to improve their interactions with regulated entities, their true customers are always the American people and not the regulated community.

Letter, (May 13, 2011) to Jeffrey Zients Office of Management and Budget, Re: Executive Order 13571 Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, from Sean Moulton Director and Gavin Baker, OMB Watch.

The letter goes on to note that “regulated entities are not the ‘Customer,'” saying: “the order should not be seen as permission to develop an overly familiar relationship with regulated entities or place too much emphasis on the stated needs of their regulated communities. We urge OMB to include guidance that reminds agencies that the public is the primary customer and cautions agencies from overly identifying the regulated entities as customers.”

Executive Order 13571 — Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service (April 27, 2011)

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