LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

David J. Shea
Chief, Procurement Policy Division
Agriculture Department
Washington


I’d like to thank Bob Gellman for his @info.policy column on long-term access to
government information [GCN, Oct. 12, Page 22]. But I
also want to respond to a question he raised about the involvement of the Government
Printing Office in the partnership agreement between the State Department and the
University of Illinois Chicago.


Gellman correctly points to the need for “order, discipline and permanence”
in access to agency’s electronic information. The State/UIC/GPO agreement is a modest
first step toward achieving these goals.


Under the agreement, each of the parties has specific responsibilities. State controls
content; UIC manages the server and provides capacity, technical support and research
assistance to users, and GPO provides a fail-safe mechanism to ensure permanent access to
the material.


If UIC should withdraw from the arrangement, GPO’s contractual obligation is to
ensure ongoing access either by transferring to another partner site brokered by GPO or by
bringing the material onto GPO’s servers. This is the substantive function of
GPO’s involvement that was not apparent to Gellman.


This concept derives from the successful model of the Federal Depository Library
Program, which has provided permanent public access to printed publications for more than
100 years through a network of partner libraries nationwide. In terms of ensuring
permanent public access to electronic government information, we think the greatest return
on investment for the public will result from building partnerships that will share the
task of building, storing and disseminating electronic government information.


As Gellman noted, involving libraries in electronic preservation and access is an
attractive way to handle government Web record preservation and access.


To that end, GPO’s Library Programs Service recently issued a plan called
“Managing the FDLP Electronic Collection.” This plan applies the successful
principles and practices of library collection management to the treatment of electronic
documents in the federal depository libraries. The document is available on GPO’s Web
site at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/dpos/ecplan.html.


Andrew M. Sherman
Director, Congressional, Legislative and Public Affairs
Government Printing Office
Washington


Having just returned from extended travel, I’ve been catching up on my GCN
reading.


In the article, “IG berates Space Command” [GCN, Sept. 21, Page 50], I couldn’t help but notice the picture of the North American
Air Defense Command’s Cheyenne Mountain Center.


In the foreground, there is a monitor with names and ranking of personnel, no doubt
associated with U.S. Space Command. Was there a breach of security in publishing this
picture?


Karl Tusing
Deputy Field Manager
Computer Sciences Corp.
Moorestown, N.J.


Editor’s note: The writer works on the Air Force Air Mobility Command’s
C2 information processing system.





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