US Gov't Info Policy -- Latest Blurb

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Tue Jun 29 16:01:25 EST 1993


Picked up on an alternative "applied biology" listserv....

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>From: Gleason Sackman <sackman at plains.nodak.edu>
     Clinton-Economy-Distribution at campaign92.org
>Subject: OMB Announces New A-130 Circular 6.28.93

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Contact: Barry Toiv
June 28, 1993                                     (202) 395-3080  
                                                                 


     CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AIMS FOR OPEN INFORMATION POLICY


     The Clinton Administration has taken a major step to improve
the Federal government's policies and capabilities for making
information available to the American people.

     Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Leon E.
Panetta issued new policies on June 25 for managing government
information that encourage agencies to utilize new technologies
to improve public access.

     Sally Katzen, Administrator of OMB's Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is charged with developing
and implementing the government's information policies, said that
the revisions of OMB Circular A-130 "will help bring the Federal
government into the information age.  This is a major step toward
realizing the vision of a government that uses technology better
to communicate with the American people."  

     OMB Circular A-130, entitled "Management of Federal
Information Resources," establishes policy that Federal agencies
will follow when acquiring, using, and distributing government
information.

     "These long-awaited revisions to Circular A-130 are an
integral part of the President and Vice-President's technology
initiative, announced February 22, 1993," said Katzen.  "We will
use information technology to make government information
available to the public in a timely and equitable manner, via a
diverse array of sources, both public and private.  We will also
ensure that privacy and security interests are protected." 

     The new circular emphasizes integrated management of
information dissemination products.  Agency electronic
information products, whether computer tapes, CD-ROMs, or on-line
services, will fall under the same policy umbrella as printed
publications or audiovisual materials.  The circular asks
agencies to develop and maintain indexes and other tools to make
it easier for the public to locate government information. 

     The circular provides that, generally, the Federal
government should recoup only those costs associated with the
dissemination of information, and not those associated with its
creation or collection.  Similarly, it provides that agencies
should not attempt to restrict the secondary uses of their
information products.  

     "These policies build on the tradition of open information
flow reflected in the Freedom of Information Act," Katzen
observed.

     "This revision of Circular A-130 marks the beginning, not
the end, of our efforts to improve access by and service to the
citizen," she added.  

     She noted that OMB will take other steps to improve the
management of information, as part of the Administration's
efforts to "reinvent government" and the National Performance
Review's mandate to improve all areas of Federal management.  In
cooperation with the other agencies in the Information
Infrastructure Task Force called for in the President's
technology initiative, OMB will:

     o    sponsor a coordinated initiative to improve electronic
          mail among agencies; 

     o    promote the establishment of an agency-based Government
          Information/Inventory Locator System (GIILS) to help
          the public locate and access public information; and,

     o    use the Paperwork Reduction Act to encourage agencies
          to convert paper documents such as purchase orders,
          invoices, health insurance claims, environmental
          reports, customs declarations and other regulatory
          filings to electronic form.

     In addition, the Administration will work with Congress to
update the Freedom of Information Act with respect to electronic
records.

     OMB first issued Circular A-130 in 1985.  OMB is revising
the Circular in two phases.  The first phase, issued today,
focuses on information policy.  An earlier version was the
subject of extensive public comment, and the final document
reflects those comments.  The second phase, to be proposed
shortly, will revise the way the government manages its
information technology resources.

     The revised Circular will be published in the Federal
Register on July 2.  It is available from the OMB Publications
Office (202-395-7332).  

     The Circular is also available in electronic form.  On the
Internet use anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) from
nis.nsf.net as /omb/omb.a130.rev2 (do not use any capital letters
in the file name).  For those who do not have FTP capability, the
document can be retrieved via mail query by sending an electronic
mail message to nis-info at nis.nsf.net with no subject, and with
send omb.a130.rev2 as the first line of the body of the message. 
It is also available on the Commerce Department's FEDWORLD
bulletin board.  (Dial 703-321-8020 (N-8-1).  New users should
register as "NEW".)

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Steve
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