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Access to Government Information

Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments Passed by House

blue boxes of presidential recordsimage © Michael WallaceOn January 14, the US House of Representations unanimously approved the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. The legislation, H.R. 1233, updates selected provisions of the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act. For example, the bill imposes a time limit during which a former president must assert any claim of privilege to a record once the Archivist of the United States has decided to make that record available to the public. The amendments also call for a process to manage the release of records when such a claim of privilege is made.

 
 

ARL Letter to FCC Regarding Access to Materials During Shutdowns

On Monday, December 2, ARL joined others in the library community in submitting a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in regards to making its primary legal materials and publicly available comments accessible via the Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital System, FDsys "in the event of a government shutdown or other circumstances that force the Commission's website offline."

pdf Letter to the FCC (PDF)

 
 

Library Community Encourages FCC to Make Materials Accessible via FDsys

F C C website screenshotFCC websiteOn Monday, December 2, ARL joined others in the library community in a letter (PDF) requesting that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) make its primary legal materials and publicly available comments accessible via the Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital System, FDsys. The signatories noted that, “In doing so, the Commission stands not only to improve the public’s access to official government information and ability to participate in critical governmental processes during periods of crisis, but serve as a model for other agencies to implement the principles of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative.”

 
 

US National Archives Launches Founders Online

founders-online-screenshotYesterday the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), along with the University of Virginia Press launched a beta version of the Founders Online website. Founders Online provides free, searchable access to over 119,000 letters and other documents written and received by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. 

 
 

Library Associations Letter Supporting Nomination of Davita Vance-Cooks as US Public Printer (June 11, 2013)

On June 11, 2013, five major library associations—ARL, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), Special Libraries Association (SLA)—sent this letter to the US Senate Committee on Rules & Administration, supporting President Obama's nomination of Davita Vance-Cooks for Public Printer of the United States. The Public Printer oversees the US Government Printing Office (GPO).

pdf ltr-lib-assns-support-d-vance-cooks-nom-public-printer-11june2013.pdf

 
 

Library Associations Support Nomination of Davita Vance-Cooks for Public Printer

davita-vance-cooksDavita Vance-Cooks, photo courtesy GPOOn June 11, ARL joined the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), and Special Libraries Association (SLA) in a letter (PDF) to the US Senate Committee on Rules & Administration supporting President Obama's nomination of Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks for Public Printer of the United States. The Public Printer oversees the US Government Printing Office (GPO). If confirmed, Vance-Cooks would be the first woman and first African American to head the GPO.

 
 

Library Associations Letter re NAPA Proposal to Charge End-User Fees for FDsys (May 30, 2013)

On May 30, 2013, five major library associations—ARL, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), Special Libraries Association (SLA)—sent this letter to the Committee on House Administration, thanking them for rejecting the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) report recommendation that the US Government Printing Office (GPO) charge public user fees for access to government documents via the Federal Digital System (FDsys).

pdf ltr-library-associations-re-napa-fdsys-proposal-30may2013.pdf

 
 

Library Associations Thank House Committee for Supporting Free Access to Government Documents

fdsys-logoOn May 30, ARL joined the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), and Special Libraries Association (SLA) in a letter (PDF) to the Committee on House Administration, thanking the committee for rejecting the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) recommendation that the US Government Printing Office (GPO) consider charging public user fees for access to government documents via the Federal Digital System (FDsys).

 
 

Letter to Sunstein Regarding Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities (Apr. 30, 2012)

Letter in support of the comments filed by Public.resources.org concerning "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities."

pdf ltsunsteinibr-30apr12.pdf

 
   
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