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20090309 GPO open government letter

20090309 GPO open government letter

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Published by Christopher Dorobek
Government Printing Office letter to Obama re: transparency
Government Printing Office letter to Obama re: transparency

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Published by: Christopher Dorobek on Mar 24, 2009
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06/14/2009

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U.S. GovernmentPrintinG office
KeePinG AmericA informed
732 North Capitol Street NW Washington, DC 20401 202-512-1000 rtapella@gpo.gov
Robert C. Tapella
Public Printer 
March 9, 2009The Honorable Barack ObamaPresident of the United StatesThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20500Dear Mr. President:Your initiative for transparency and open Government is important to me and the men and women
of the U.S. Government Printing Ofce. We fully support your initiative and would like to help
you implement it.On February 4, 2009, GPO launched the Federal Digital System (FDsys, at www.fdsys.gov),a world-class information management system developed to authenticate, preserve, version,
and provide permanent public access to Government information. We now have a exible andextensible digital system that can put into action your call for transparency and open Government.
More than 154,000 documents are currently accessible with additional documents coming daily.
The Ofce of the Federal Register’s (OFR) new publication, Daily Compilation of PresidentialDocuments, was specically engineered for FDsys and replaces the printed Weekly Compilation
of Presidential Documents.GPO is in a unique position to assist you in carrying out your transparency initiatives. Through
GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the online capability supporting thepublic access intent of that program (as established in Public Law 103-40, the GPO ElectronicInformation Access Enhancement Act of 1993), we are the ofcial repository for authentic
Government publications and play an integral role in the process of producing these publications
to support Government transparency. Providing transparency has been GPO’s role since it wasestablished in 1861. Indeed, it has been the intent of Congress since 1813 when the statutoryantecedent of the FDLP was enacted.I am attaching for your review ve goals and accompanying actions that GPO is prepared to
undertake to help implement your initiative for transparency and open Government. We lookforward to working with the appropriate staff in your Administration to help you carry it out.Sincerely,
ROBERT C. TAPELLA
Public Printer
 
President Barack ObamaMarch 9, 2009
Re: GPO and Open Government
Page 2
Enclosure
 Cc: The Honorable Peter OrszagDirector
Ofce of Management and BudgetThe Honorable Robert A. Brady
ChairmanJoint Committee on Printing
732 North Capitol Street NW Washington, DC 20401 202-512-1000 rtapella@gpo.gov
 
GPO’s Roles in Open Government1. Goal:
Position GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys, at www.dsys.gov) as theocial repository or Federal Government publications.GPO, with FDsys, is best prepared to provide trusted inormation in whatever ormrequired. Currently, GPO is oering PDF, text, and html versions o content. Wealso provide complete XML les containing descriptive and preservation metadata.Because FDsys is a fexible and extensible inormation management system, wecan oer XML-structured content as rendered output. We have plans to oerXML content through API’s (Application Programming Interaces), allowing othersystems to access inormation rom FDsys to meet specialized needs. Having XML-structured content in FDsys allows GPO to make this easily available.GPO plans to move an API-access capability orward by supporting pilots witha ew groups (such as the FreeGovIno group). GPO would oer them theopportunity to dene an API that will meet their needs. This activity will allow usto evaluate the perormance o this advanced access method. Content deliveredthrough this approach can be used by external users in mash-ups or other hybrid/synthetic publications.
Action:
Develop pilot concepts with the Administration’s Open Government oce.
2. Goal:
Enable and support Web 2.0 unctionality through FDsys to support publiccomments on pending legislation.The Administration’s transparency and open Government initiative calls or acomment period on legislation beore bills are signed into law. GPO’s FDsys isideal or supporting public comments on bills as they move through the legislativeprocess. This collaborative approach with the public would be an excellentexample o Web 2.0 unctionality in support o open, transparent, and collaborativeGovernment.There are several alternatives that could be evaluated to achieve this result. Onewould be to link directly to the White House Web site. Visitors to www.whitehouse.gov wishing to nd inormation on bills to be signed by the President would bedirected to FDsys and a listing o the all versions o the bill or directly to thespecic version o a bill. A link could be added to the FDsys page directing theuser to a comment collection application. Useul third party tools are emerging thatcould provide this unction with very little additional development required on theGovernment’s part, ollowing the nalization o additional requirements (such as
U.S. Government Printing Office 732 North Capitol Street NW Washington, DC 20401 202-512-1000

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