Home » Posts tagged 'outsourcing'

Tag Archives: outsourcing

Our mission

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.

Where’s Hillary?

The U.S. Department of State has a web page with an interactive map showing travel by the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The site is an example of a hybrid site using Google maps, Yahoo APIs, and services from Thermopylae Sciences and Technology in addition to .gov hosting.

GSA puts its USA.gov Web site in the cloud

NextGov reports that the General Services Administration will be outsourcing the hardware and “the programs that run the federal government’s official Web portal (USA.gov) from government servers to those operated by a private company.”

USA.gov uses Microsoft “Live search” for indexing and searching and the article does not mention any changes in that. Apparently, the shift is mostly about hardware.

Lame Duck Reorganization Cutting Green Jobs to Promote Outsourcing

Reclamation Jettisoning Environmental Functions, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), August 18, 2008.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is rapidly downsizing its environmental capabilities by forcing scores of Denver-based specialists to go into retirement under threat of layoff, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This massive lame duck restructuring will force the next administration to contract for the eliminated functions.

Among the services being cut are “The Center’s world renowned library.” There are links at the PEER site above to more details.

Thanks and a tip of the FGI hat to Bernadine Abbott Hoduski!

When government information is not government information

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new service that allows you to "instantly compare what 500 of of the largest American companies are paying their top executives."

The announcement says that The Executive Compensation Reader is "available today on the SEC’s Web site at http://www.sec.gov/xbrl."

When you go to that web site, you’ll find "Interactive Financial Reports", "Executive Compensation", and (coming soon) "Financial Explorer" and "Investment Management Risk Return Summary".

But…A big, boldface disclaimer is on the bottom of the page:

These applications are on servers not controlled by the SEC. The SEC does not endorse these sites, their sponsors, or any policy, activity, product, data, or service they offer. These sites may be removed from the Internet with little or no warning. The purpose of the data reported is to test XBRL technology. The data is largely unaudited and unreviewed. It is not an official SEC filing. Use these applications at your own risk. Do not rely on the reported data, or documents rendered from the data, to make investment decisions.

The Interactive Financial Reports is a link to "" which is run by viawest.net which describes itself as a "provider of colocation, managed hosting and business continuity solutions ViaWest has become a production partner to thousands of companies. We can design, implement and support your critical data and infrastructure – allowing you to focus on your core business."

The Executive Compensation link points to "" which is run by servervault.com which is also a hosting company. It’s home page says it provides "secure, robust IT infrastructure management and hosting services, specifically engineered to help federal agencies and commercial entities achieve the most stringent security posture as well as comply with a wide range of IT security regulations, including FISMA, DITSCAP, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA."

Both sites sport an SEC logo and a numeric url that obscures the fact that you are looking at a .net or .com site, not a .gov site.

Is this a temporary situation and will these sites become .gov? is the SEC simply outsourcing the hosting? Or will these sites become commercial after a trial period with the companies or the SEC charging for services?

At minimum, this kind of outsourcing obscures the authenticity of and provenance of the information and makes the job of GPO, libraries, web-archivists, and citizens more difficult.