Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:35:23 +0000
From: Peggy R. Jarrett <[hidden email]>
Reply-To: Discussion of Government Document Issues <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email] Subject: Joint letter sent to OMB regarding access to government information
For those monitoring what our professional associations are doing during
this tumultuous time, here's this from AALL:
AALL SIGNS ON TO JOINT LETTER TO PROTECT ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT INFORMATION
Yesterday, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) partnered with
OpenTheGovernment.org and more than 60 other public interest groups and
associations on a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),
asking OMB to issue guidance reminding agencies that they are required
under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) to give
adequate public notice when making significant changes to information on
their websites, including when information is taken down temporarily or
removed. The letter comes after weeks of concern expressed by AALL and
other organizations about data and other information no longer being
accessible on government websites.
The letter stated:
It is crucial that agencies comply with the law, so that the public does
not lose access to vital government information that helps them protect
themselves and hold the marketplace and their government accountable.
Failure to give adequate notice of removal could mean that years of
government work on important issues are effectively lost to the public.
Moreover, providing the required notice will assure compliance with the
law, smooth transition issues, ensure public participation, calm fears of
censorship, and will reduce litigation costs for both the government and
the public interest community.
"AALL has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that governments provide
reliable access to information. Our Principles and Core Values Concerning
Public Information on Government Websites clearly states our belief that
information published on government websites should be accessible,
comprehensive, trustworthy, and preserved," said AALL President Ronald E.
Wheeler Jr. AALL will continue to advocate for agencies' compliance with
laws governing access and preservation, and to ensure that government
information remains accessible to all.
Peggy Roebuck Jarrett
Librarian, Collection Development & Government Information
Gallagher Law Library
University of Washington School of Law
Box 353025, Seattle WA 98195-3025