Annual Report: FY95

Highlights of the Year

During fiscal year 1995, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) worked to meet the changing professional and service needs of the federal library and information center community. FLICC's annual information policy forum featured renowned futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler describing the impact of Third Wave communications on the world as we know it. FLICC working groups completed the nationwide survey of federal libraries and information centers, initiated an action plan for dealing with information technology in federal libraries, and experimented with teleconferencing and partnering for FLICC educational programs. FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, continued to enhance its fiscal operations, saving member agencies an estimated $15.4 million in discounts and contracting cost avoidance. FEDLINK Network Operations (FNO) expanded its Internet training program for federal librarians and provided Internet training to the Library of Congress (LC) public services staff.

In November, Susan Tarr, former chief of the Library's Cataloging Distribution Service, was appointed the new executive director of FLICC, taking over from Louis R. Mortimer, chief of the Federal Research Division, who had ably served as FLICC acting executive director since May 1994. During the year Tarr led the FLICC membership in a strategic planning process--"Vision 2000"-- to help focus federal libraries and information centers on strategic directions and to identify action items for FLICC/FEDLINK for the next five years.

FLICC Quarterly Membership Meetings

At the first FLICC Quarterly Membership Meeting, outgoing Chair of the FLICC Personnel Working Group, Louise Nyce, Pentagon; Raymond Crosby, Federal Personnel Expert/Consultant; and Donald Ware, Chief, Human Resources Policy, LC, reported on the impact of the newly released Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Librarian Classification Standards for the GS-1410 Librarian Series and GS-1412 Technical Information Services Series and the GS-1411 Librarian Technician Series. Recently appointed Deputy Librarian of Congress Dr. Hiram Davis also addressed the FLICC membership. The second Quarterly Membership Meeting offered a presentation by Ricky Erway of LC's American Memory Project and a tour featuring LC's National Digital Library Visitor Center exhibits of the World Wide Web, LC Marvel and LC's CD-ROM network.

The third FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting featured a legislative update delivered by Harold Relyea, Specialist in American National Government of the Congressional Research Service and an update on executive policy developments delivered by Peter Weiss, policy analyst, Executive Office of the President, OMB. Tarr reported on FLICC's Strategic Plan, Vision 2000, and invited comments on the main areas of the vision statement: agency management; public access; information management; the National Digital Library; and professional development. The fourth Quarterly Meeting featured a presentation by Holly Marker Moyer, Director of Strategic Customer Alliance, Legal Information Services, LEXIS-NEXIS, who identified issues and action items for federal librarians in the 21st century. Members honored FLICC Survey Working Group Chair, Elizabeth Yeates, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for her unflagging leadership and tireless efforts on behalf of federal libraries nationwide in overseeing FLICC's role in implementing the 1994 Survey of Federal Libraries and Information Centers (see FLICC Survey Working Group). Curran described the recent LC reorganization explaining that under the new plan, Dr. James Billington would be naming a new Chair Designate to FLICC.

FLICC Working Groups

(see list of Working Groups and Chairs, Attachment A)

FLICC Education Working Group

In addition to program planning activities, the FLICC Education Working Group drafted and approved a revised/updated mission statement and conducted a membership search to broaden program input from federal libraries. In FY95, the Education Working Group directly sponsored: the 1995 FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies, "The Life Cycle of Government Information: Challenges of Electronic Innovation" on March 24; as well as "The One-Person Federal Library: Managing the Effects of Downsizing" on October 3; a Brown Bag Discussion, "Designing Library World Wide Web Home Pages--a First Look" on July 11; and "Internet Resources at the Reference Desk" on August 2.

FLICC Federal Depository Libraries Working Group

In January, 1995, the FLICC Executive Board (FEB) formally dissolved the FLICC Federal Depository Libraries Working Group.

FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group

The FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group (formerly the Finance Working Group) began meeting in February to develop the FY96 FEDLINK budget that ultimately held FEDLINK service fees to FY95 levels and held the FEDLINK program costs increase to 1% over FY95 expenditures. The proposal raised the threshold for charging the supplemental direct pay fee from $25,000 to $100,000 in keeping with the new procurement threshold available to agencies; this amounts to a fee reduction for direct pay accounts. The FLICC and FEDLINK voting members overwhelmingly supported the FY96 budget proposal.

FLICC Information Technology Working Group

FY95 marked the establishment of the FLICC Information Technology Working Group which held its first meeting on April 20. The group conducted a straw vote at the FEDLINK Spring Membership Meeting on May 31 which indicated that information sharing, Internet and licensing/acquisitions agreements are the top three items of concern to the federal library community. Subsequently, working group members organized into three focus groups to develop action plans for each of these areas.

FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group

The FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group had been reactivated in FY94 to review the nominating process and examine the FLICC Bylaws which have been in operation for four years. During the FY95 review process, the group focused on establishing the requirements for standing and ad hoc FLICC working groups and evaluated an analysis of the FLICC Bylaws that was prepared by parliamentarian John Stackpole. The group will complete its bylaws work in FY96 with a package of proposed revisions for approval by the FLICC membership and the Librarian of Congress.

FLICC Nominating Working Group

In FY95, the Nominating Working Group oversaw the 1995 election of the following three FLICC Rotating Members who will serve a three-year term (1996-1998): Jay D. Farris, US Attorney's Office-DC; Gail Nicula, Armed Forces Staff College; Richard Hume Werking, Naval Academy; and election of the following five FEDLINK members to FLICC for the 1996-1998 term with the three candidates achieving the highest number of votes (*) also serving for three years on the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC): Gil Baldwin, GPO; Linda Baltrusch, Court of Appeals; Doria Grimes*, Chief, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Lee Porter*, Pentagon; and W. Fred Rettenmaier*, Naval Research Laboratory.

FLICC Personnel Working Group

The Personnel Working Group worked on revising its mission statement and assisting FLICC in planning a workshop on how to use and apply the new Classification Standards. The group updated the background paper developed for OMB on the Masters in Library Science degree.

FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group

FY95 is the first full year during which FLICC Preservation Working Group and FLICC Binding Working Group worked under a merged auspices. The group contributed significantly to the FY95 FLICC Education Programs, sponsoring: "A Tour of American Bindery- East" on October 18 and 19; three programs in the FLICC Federal Library Collections Management Series: "Preservation of Photographic Collections" on December 5; "The Care and Handling of Sound, Video & Film Recordings" on April 18; "The Great Preservation Debate: To Digitize or to Microfilm" on September 20; and a Brown Bag Discussion on "The Federal Library Binding Contract: GPO to Award New Contract" on February 14. They also cosponsored a program with the District of Columbia Libraries Association (DCLA) and CAPNet titled, "Did Our Insurance Policy Say That? Risk Management & Insurance Issues for Library & Cultural Collections," on June 12. Daniel Clemmer, Department of State, the group's FLICC Executive Board (FEB) liaison, was selected to serve also as Chair of the Preservation and Archiving Committee within the Federal Depository Library Council. The group also completed planning for an FY96 program on "Mass Deacidification for Paper-Based Collections" to be downlinked to LC in October 1995.

FLICC Reference/Public Services Working Group

During FY95, the FLICC Reference/Public Services Working Group focused on the use of the FLICC listserv FEDREF-L as the working group communications tool. Upon establishment of FEDREF-L, working group members provided assistance to FEDLINK Network Librarian Steve Kirchoff, moderator of the list. The group sponsored a FLICC Education Program Brown Bag Discussion on "End User Training--What Works?" on April 5 and assisted in the planning of "Internet Resources at the Reference Desk" on August 2.

FLICC Survey Working Group (formerly FLICC Statistics Working Group)

Organized in FY91 to update the 1978 federal library statistics, the FLICC Survey Working Group continued working with the NCES and the Bureau of the Census to implement the survey that they had finalized in FY94 and which was to include federal information centers for the first time. Chaired by Yeates, and composed of eight task forces staffed by 30 volunteers, the FLICC Survey Working Group mailed the final survey on January 20 to 1500 federal libraries and information centers. Staff from the Census Bureau and NCES joined working group members in a phone bank held at FLICC on February 15 to verify receipt of the survey. In March, the group held a second phone-a-thon. FLICC members assisted by directly contacting survey non-respondents in their own agencies. By the end of FY95, the federal library and information center survey had achieved a 94.2% return. The returns are to be tabulated between November 1995 and January 1996; and extended analysis is scheduled for completion by Summer 1996. At its September 14 meeting, the FEB approved the status of the FLICC Survey Working Group as a standing working group, superseding the FLICC Statistics Working Group, the auspices under which the group had previously functioned.

FLICC Publications and Education Office

In FY95, the FLICC Publications and Education Office (FPE) strived to support an ambitious publications schedule despite a continued critical vacancy created by the resignation of the FLICC Editorial Assistant in March 1994. During FY95, FPE produced six issues of FEDLINK Technical Notes: October/November 1994 (8 pages); December 1994/January 1995 (8 pages); First Quarter 1995 (12 pages); April/May 1995 (8 pages); June/July 1995 (12 pages); and August/September 1995 (8 pages) and three 8-page issues of the FLICC Quarterly Newsletter: Fall 1994, Winter 1994, and Spring 1995. FPE redesigned and published expanded and enhanced materials to support the FEDLINK program including the 36-page FY96 FEDLINK Registration Booklet; 130-page FY96 FEDLINK Member Handbook; and 40-page FY96 FEDLINK Serials Subscription Services Package, as well as five FEDLINK Information Alerts and a comprehensive FLICC/FEDLINK information packet. FPE also produced the FY94 FLICC Annual Report (32 pages) and minutes of the FY96 FLICC Quarterly Meetings and Bimonthly FEB meetings as well as all FLICC Education Program promotional and support materials including the FLICC Forum trifold, Forum attendee and speaker badges, Press Advisories, speeches and speaker remarks and Forum collateral materials. In addition the office produced promotional material for the federal survey and 29 FLICC Meeting Announcements to promote FLICC Education Programs, FEDLINK membership, vendor, and OCLC User Meetings.

In conjunction with the FLICC Education Working Group, FLICC offered a total of 24 seminars and workshops to more than 1,200 members of the federal library and information center community. The FY95 FLICC education schedule underscored cooperative relationships as FLICC sponsored programs with other organizations in the library, education, and association community including: CAPCON, the Association of College and Research Libraries, National Institute for Library Personnel, Learning Resources Center and Library Technical Assistant Program, College of DuPage, the American Society for Information Science, Potomac Valley Chapter, Council on Library/Media Technicians, DCLA, DC Online Users Group, Special Libraries Association-DC Chapter.

FLICC expanded its education program in FY95 by offering a downlink site for the "International Videoconference on the Electronic Library," October 4, cosponsored by FNO and CAPCON, and for the six-part Teleconference Series for Library Technicians: "Soaring to Excellence," which discussed such issues as technology, reference sources, library services for diverse populations, and communication. In FY95, FLICC sponsored a three-part FEDLINK OCLC Cataloging Series led by Ann Sandberg-Fox, cataloging consultant and trainer. The popular series addressed: Cataloging Audiovisual Materials on March 14, Cataloging Computer Files on April 13 and July 26, and Cataloging Interactive Multimedia, July 27. FLICC also sponsored three programs in the FLICC Federal Library Collections Management Series (see FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group) and provided organizational, promotional and logistical support to FEDLINK meetings and events including: the FEDLINK Fall Membership Meeting, October 20, 1994, and Spring Membership Meeting, May 31 1995; FEDLINK OCLC Users Group Meetings on October 25, 1994, and May 31, 1995; the FEDLINK FY95 Vendor Briefing, October 25 and FY95 Vendor Fair on October 26, 1994; an Update on New Dialog BOA Terms on October 20 and a program on How to Use FEDLINK in FY96 on August 14. In response to requests from federal librarians across the country, FLICC began video taping FLICC programs and established a video tape loan program to broaden outreach to its constituency.

FEDLINK (Federal Library and Information Network)

In FY95, FEDLINK provided 931 federal agencies cost-effective access to an array of automated information retrieval services for online research, cataloging, and interlibrary loan (ILL) through FEDLINK. FEDLINK member agencies also procured publications such as serials, books and document delivery through FEDLINK in FY95 via LC/FEDLINK contracts with major vendors.

FEDLINK Advisory Council

The FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC) met monthly during FY95 except in November and August. During the year, the FAC participated in strategic planning sessions for FEDLINK led by Director Tarr, initiated a survey of the membership to identify user problems and needs, approved the FY96 FEDLINK fee structure, and assisted in the Spring and Fall FEDLINK Membership Meetings.

FEDLINK Membership Meetings

At the fall meeting, Erik Delfino, FEDLINK Network Librarian, addressed the membership on "The Internet Today & FLICC Initiatives to Further the Development and Use of Internet in Federal Libraries;" FEDLINK OCLC Users Council Delegates provided the Fall OCLC Users Council Meeting report; and FLICC working group chairs reported on the groups' activities. In the spring, Charlene S. Hurt, Director of Libraries, George Mason University, spoke on "How Libraries are Utilizing Emerging Systems: Collaborating & Consorting" and Janet Scheitle, Director of TRALINET, described the recently created "TRADOC Strategic Plan." Sami Klein presented the FLICC/FEDLINK FY96 Budget. FLICC working group chairs, OCLC Users Council Delegates and FLICC staff again presented activity and program updates.

FEDLINK Network Operations

During FY95, FNO expanded and refined Internet support, outreach to members, and procurement and education programs to better meet members' needs. As the regional network for 830 federal libraries using OCLC Online Computer Library Center, FEDLINK conducted 92 OCLC workshops. Daily OCLC member support was improved by increasing the support team to include three OCLC Information Specialists. Internet accounted for 36 classes. The Internet and OCLC training teams visited Montana, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, North Dakota, Nevada, and California, and traveled to Germany and the Azores. Attachment B itemizes the training topics, which expand coverage in the areas of cataloging and Internet. FNO rewrote the Request for Proposal (RFP) for monograph acquisition services and prepared a statement of work for technical processing to be let in FY96. FNO achieved several milestones in outreach by: creating three new listservs; launching a program to exhibit at national conferences; increasing staff participation in professional associations; and participating in special projects to analyze agencies' information needs and assist the US Courts and OPM.

OCLC Network Activity: Fifty FEDLINK OCLC users attended the October 1994 Fall FEDLINK OCLC Users Group Meeting which focused on format integration, union listing, reference services and authorities. Also in October, FEDLINK sent a staff member to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Conference in Heidelberg, Germany to provide training and demonstrations to Army personnel on OCLC Reference Services and PRISM services. In November, FEDLINK hosted the OCLC (NACO) Authorities Phase I training for 31 Linked Systems Program (LSP)/NACO librarians from across the country. Staff conducted a January program on MARC Format Integration for the National Agricultural Library (NAL). FEDLINK staff also initiated the FLICC series of non-print MARC format workshops to prepare catalogers in federal libraries for eminent challenges of the electronic environment.

In the third quarter, FEDLINK executed OCLC contract modifications to add two new OCLC services, PromptCat and ILL Fee Management, as well as new EPIC databases. FEDLINK also added Electronic Dewey and Electronic Journals Online to the FEDLINK contract when the annual modification to adjust prices was made. Price changes are projected to decrease costs for 84% of OCLC users. FEDLINK's agreement saved LC 8% in its new subscription to FirstSearch, which allows readers at LC to economically search databases that index materials held at LC and across the country. FNO provided FirstSearch demonstrations to the staff of the Senate, Naval Academy and Patent & Trademark Office libraries. FNO also provided consultation to the Panama Canal Commission which required bi-lingual education on cataloging, AACR2 and multiple formats in a collection of Panama American relations, 1900-date. The Spring FEDLINK OCLC Users Meeting in May addressed OCLC's new ILL Fee Management service, reference services, communication and access and cataloging services. During the summer, FEDLINK enabled more than 20 libraries to create local databases and save $20,000 by batching orders for OCLC tapes. In September, FEDLINK provided instructors to Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores and to several facilities in California to conduct training.

FEDLINK Internet Program: FY95 was a year of expansion of the Internet program, both in the number of courses conducted and in the creation and utilization of electronic communication capabilities. Thirty-three classes with 394 students were held at FEDLINK and at a number of field locations. FNO developed a special set of Internet courses for LC's reference staff late in the year, providing 26 sessions to 286 attendees. Simultaneously, FNO planned new updated and advanced Internet courses scheduled for the fall. FEDLINK continued to utilize its listserv (FEDLIB-L) to distribute information and initiated three new listservs, one for reference discussions (FEDREF-L), one for communications on cataloging (FEDCAT-L) and one for acquisitions (FEDACQ-L). FEDREF-L, a moderated list for reference librarians in the federal government, provides a forum for discussing issues affecting the whole range of federal library public services including reference, ILL and circulation. Its subscribers list quickly grew to over 800. FEDCAT-L utilizes a cataloging peer council, selected for their technical services leadership, teaching skills, and nationally recognized formats expertise) to respond to FEDLINK members' cataloging questions and to expand the FEDLINK training mission to members within and beyond the DC Area.

FEDACQ-L is a closed un-moderated list for acquisition librarians. Additionally, the FEDLINK ALIX bulletin board supported 3,402 users in FY95.

To support the move to electronic commerce and communications, FNO interacted with LC/Contracts and Logistics (C&L) to make RFP's available to vendors via the Internet, added the FEDLINK Internet addresses to the organization's forms, and instructed FLICC staff and managers in utilizing Internet for electronic mail. FNO also linked FEDLINK's section of the LC Marvel gopher to the OCLC Homepage.

Procurement Services

As the foundation for its procurement and finance program, FEDLINK established basic ordering agreements (BOAs) with vendors of the commercial information services that federal libraries, researchers, offices of general counsel, and other units need to keep abreast of developments in their fields. FEDLINK also established BOAs with the wholesalers and agents that support libraries in the acquisition of books, serials and other publications for their collections and negotiated agreements with the organizations that help libraries catalog, classify, and manage their collections and resources. FEDLINK network librarians worked with C&L staff, FLICC/FEDLINK management and FEDLINK members to prepare technical specifications, conduct procurements and establish agreements, through which the federal information community procured $119 million in services from 78 commercial vendors.

Some of FEDLINK's most important contracting work of FY95 involved analyzing the potential impact of the Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act (FASA) (and the new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provisions that implement FASA) on the FEDLINK program and on library and information services contracting in general. FEDLINK made all of its FY95 solicitation documents available electronically for downloading via the Internet or dial access and some vendor proposals were received through online means. Library officials raised the simplified acquisition threshold for LC/FEDLINK procurements from $25,000 to $50,000. Following guidance about the new threshold, FEDLINK continued to announce all its procurements over $25,000 in the Commerce Business Daily, but changed the threshold for competing all individual serials orders to the $50,000 level.

Database Retrieval Services: FEDLINK began FY95 with new Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs) with 52 vendors of online, CD-ROM, gateway, and electronic document delivery services. Formally procured during the summer of FY94, the new BOAs are in effect for three years: FY95, plus options to renew in FY96 and FY97. By continuing to offer their services through FEDLINK, the 42 returning vendors assured customers of a stable procurement environment and confirmed that FEDLINK's intermediary role remains valuable to the vendor community.

FEDLINK updated its database retrieval solicitation for FY95 by adding a separate lot for electronic document delivery services. This addition captured the online industry's new practice of providing on-demand delivery of documents via the Internet or other electronic means. Thus, database vendors who had invested in developing new document delivery operations or acquiring existing ones were able to combine their services in a single BOA and present a consolidated offering to customers.

As in previous years, in the spring of 1995 FEDLINK conducted an "open season" for database services, issuing a solicitation to invite new vendors to participate in FEDLINK. After technical review, six new vendors were accepted. In late spring, FEDLINK began negotiations with incumbent vendors to renew their BOAs for FY96. Many vendors took this opportunity to update their pricing and add new services and products to their FEDLINK offering. FEDLINK's open season and regular negotiations ensure that vendors are able to offer the most up-to-date products and services.

Publications Acquisitions: Books Acquisitions Services: FY95 was the last option year of FEDLINK's existing BOAs with ten library materials wholesalers and jobbers. In the spring and summer of FY95 FEDLINK revised its solicitation and conducted a full procurement for new publications acquisitions services for FY96.

The FY95 solicitation contained one very important new element. For the first time, the RFP covered publishers that do not deal through jobbers, in addition to traditional book jobbers. The updated solicitation addressed suppliers of all types of non-serial publications, offering an extensive matrix of vendor specialties covering 23 categories: 11 formats, (books, textbooks, reference works, videos, multimedia, etc.); 7 subject areas (general, business, legal, medical, scientific/technical, etc.); and 5 publishing sources (associations, university presses, foreign presses, government documents, out-of-print materials, etc.). The solicitation included expanded lots for approval plan services, leasing plans, and technical and physical processing and acquisitions control services.

Because of these changes, FEDLINK was able to add significant vendors to the program for FY96, including the legal publishers West Publishing and Michie-Butterworth and many specialty jobbers. Overall, the FY95 books solicitation more than doubled FEDLINK's book service offering from 10 FY95 vendors to 26 vendors for FY96.

Serials Subscription Services: As with database services, FEDLINK began FY95 with new BOAs for serials subscription services established after a formal solicitation process conducted in the spring of 1994. The BOAs with the four companies selected: American Overseas Book Company (AOBC); Ebsco; Faxon; and Readmore, are in effect for FY95 plus four option renewal years. With new BOAs for FY95, members were required to compete their individual serials requirements for the upcoming year. The competitive selections made for FY95 are also potentially valid for five years, provided the member includes an option to renew until FY99 and exercises that option. This five-year window provides for stability in managing serials subscriptions, typically, the most critical and the most expensive portion of a federal library's collection. At the same time, contracting with option years keeps libraries from becoming locked-in to long term service contracts.

To help members through the competition process, FEDLINK published a Serials Package for FY95 and updated it in the spring. In the fourth quarter of FY94 and first quarter FY95, LC/Contracts and Logistics (C&L) worked on competitions for 185 libraries. For libraries with serials orders over $25,000 (and others who requested assistance) C&L helped assemble the title lists, "ship-to" information and special technical information necessary to issue individual RFQs. LC/C&L helped the libraries review the four vendors' responses to each RFQ and selected a serials agent for each library. Overall, the FY95 competitions improved the distribution of serials business among the four vendors and resulted in an average vendor service fee for members of 1.7%.

In the late spring of FY95, FEDLINK negotiated FY96 BOA option year renewals with the four serials agents. With the BOAs renewed, members who were satisfied with their incumbent vendors were able to renew their competitive selections for FY96. For members who anticipated significant changes in their serials requirements, who were new to the FEDLINK serials program, who wanted to change vendors for FY96, or whose FY95 selections were not renewable, the FEDLINK C&L unit issued individual RFQs for FY96 services.

Microform Acquisitions Services: FEDLINK renewed its existing BOAs with suppliers of microfilm and microfiche materials for the FY95 contract year and for FY96.

Document Delivery Services: FEDLINK renewed its existing BOAs with the more traditional print-based document delivery services for FY95 and again for FY96. Thus, both print and electronic formats for document delivery services remain available to member libraries.

Library Support Services: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Fee Payment Services: For FY95, FEDLINK renewed its BOA with AOBC for processing and paying the ILL invoices for charges members incur when they borrow materials from other libraries. In FY95, FEDLINK also added OCLC's new ILL Fee Management service to the program, enabling libraries that use the OCLC system for borrowing and lending to handle the charges and credits for their activity through their regular OCLC account. FEDLINK maintains two ILL fee payment services so that members may perform ILL transactions both inside and outside the OCLC community, and be able to pay borrowing charges as well as collect lending fees.

OCLC and Bibliographic Utilities: FEDLINK monitors its BOA with OCLC to ensure that all of the not-for-profit utility's core services for cataloging and ILL are available to the federal community. The FEDLINK OCLC agreement also covers OCLC's reference services and other products of interest to federal libraries. Because the Library of Congress' OCLC activities are procured and paid using the FEDLINK OCLC agreement and FEDLINK accounts, in FY95 FEDLINK continued to work very closely with LC managers and staff to be sure the FEDLINK OCLC BOA could accommodate LC's special OCLC project requirements. In FY95 members used OCLC and the two smaller bibliographic utilities, RLIN and WLN, for $5.3 million worth of library services.

FEDLINK Fiscal Operations (FFO)

During FY95, FEDLINK enjoyed another successful year of operating performance during which FFO: saved FEDLINK member agencies an estimated $15,400,000 in discounts and contracting cost avoidance; processed 9,817 member service transaction requests for current and prior years representing for FY95 $56,500,000 and $63,800,000 for transfer pay and direct pay service dollars; issued FEDLINK member agencies $300,000 rebate of FY95 fees prior to the close of the fiscal year; expanded vendor services for FY96 to include 16 new book vendors and 8 new Information retrieval vendors; implemented FFS in FFO accounts receivable and accounts payable business areas; processed 70,051 invoices for current and prior year orders; incurred virtually zero net interest expense for late payment of FEDLINK vendor invoices; completed FY90 member service dollar refunds to close out obligations for expired appropriations; implemented plans to address current and future audit and compliance requirements; responded to Inspector General (IG) Audit Report Number 93-1001 concerning FY92 transactions; and issued a task order to Price Waterhouse to conduct a compliance review of FEDLINK's financial system and identify opportunities for electronic commerce; ensured administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed program fee projections.

FEDLINK Vendor Services

Total FEDLINK vendor service dollars for FY95 represent $56.5 million for transfer pay customers and $63.8 million for direct pay customers. Database retrieval services represent $21.6 million and $44.5 million respectively for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, online services comprise the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $15.4 million and $44.2 million respectively. Publications acquisition services represent $33.8 million and $19.4 million respectively for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, serial subscription services comprise the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $26.3 million and $18.1 million respectively. Library support services represent $440,000 for transfer pay customers only. Within this service category, FEDLINK training is the largest procurement representing $259,000.

Evaluation of the FEDLINK Procurement Program

Based on FFO analysis of discounts offered through LC/FEDLINK BOAs, FEDLINK discounts saved members at least $2.4 million in gross service dollars in FY95. Analysis of comparable contracting costs for establishing 78 BOAs and providing competition for 575 individual serials orders over $25,000 suggests that FEDLINK's centralized contracting activity saved the government approximately $13,000,000 in cost avoidance (estimating $20,000 per contracting action). Thus, through discounts and contracting cost avoidance alone--not considering FEDLINK's invoice processing, education, and other services--the FEDLINK program saved agencies $15,400,000, an amount more than triple the FEDLINK annual operating budget.

Accounts Receivable and Member Services

FFO accounts receivable processed FY95 registrations from federal libraries, information centers and other federal offices which resulted in 931 signed FY95 IAGs compared to 944 basic IAGs in FY94. FFO also processed 3,557 IAG amendments (2,476 FY95 and 1,081 prior year adjustments) for agencies that added, adjusted or terminated service funding. These IAGs and IAG amendments represented 9,817 individual service requests to begin, move, convert or cancel service from 88 FY95 FEDLINK vendors. FFO executed service requests by generating delivery orders that were issued to vendors by LC/C&L. For FY95 alone, FEDLINK processed approximately $56.5 million in service dollars for 3,728 transfer pay accounts and approximately $63.8 million in service dollars for 377 direct pay accounts. Included in the above member service transactions are 650 requests to move prior year (no-year and multi-year) funds across fiscal year boundaries. These service request transactions represent a contracting volume of $3.8 million for 1,308 delivery orders.

The FEDLINK Fiscal Hotline responded to a wide variety of member questions ranging from routine queries about IAGs, delivery orders, and account balances to complicated questions regarding FEDLINK policies and operating procedures. The hotline referred more complex inquiries to appropriate staff for follow-up and resolution and recorded 6,286 calls in FY95 compared to 7,945 calls in FY94. FFO continued the practice of scheduling appointments with FEDLINK member agencies and FEDLINK vendors to discuss complicated account problems and assigned senior staff to concentrate on resolving complex current and prior year situations. FEDLINK ALIX-FS maintained 1,352 accounts in FY95 and continued to provide members early access to their monthly balance information throughout the fiscal year. FFO prepared monthly mailings that alerted individual members to unsigned IAG amendments, deficit accounts, rejected invoices and delinquent accounts.

Transfer Pay Accounts Payable Services

On behalf of transfer pay users, FFO processed 70,051 invoices for payment during FY95 for both current and prior year orders. FFO accounts payable efficiently processed vendor invoices and earned $135 in discounts in excess of interest payment penalties levied for the late payment of invoices to FEDLINK vendors. FFO continued to maintain open accounts for three prior years to pay publications service invoices ("bill laters" and "back orders") for members using books and serial services. FFO reviewed 76,390 invoices for current and prior fiscal years and rejected the following: 2,161 invoices for having no delivery orders; 1,055 invoices due to duplicate vendor submissions; 1,087 for having no signed IAG; 1,839 invoices for overdraft/insufficient funds; and 916 invoices for inadequate vendor information.

FFO issued 92,012 statements to members (27,604 current year and 64,408 prior year). FFO continued to generate current fiscal year statements for online database retrieval service accounts on the 30th or the last working day of each month and publications and acquisitions account statements on the 15th of each month. FFO issued final FY90 statements in support of closing-associated obligations for expired FY90 appropriations. FFO issued quarterly statements for prior fiscal years including FY91 and supported reconciliation of FY91 FEDLINK vendor services accounts.

Financial Management

New Central Accounting System-FFS: FFO and the SYMIN team worked closely with LC/FSD and American Management Systems (AMS) to complete the integration of FEDLINK's financial management system with FFS. FFO successfully assumed total responsibility for processing FEDLINK vendor obligations and payments through an online connection to LC's central accounting system computer. FFO and AMS staff enhanced the FFS interface process by automating the upload operations for processing FEDLINK vendor obligations and payment transactions.

Retirement of Prior Year Service Obligations

FFO completed all unfinished work associated with reconciling FY90 vendor obligations and payments and collaborated with LC/FSD to refund member remaining account balances. This facilitated member agency compliance with statutory requirements for retiring obligations associated with FY90 expired appropriations. FFO also initiated FY91 and FY92 reconciliation activity for obligations and payments to support the retirement of obligations for expired appropriations for FY91 and FY92.

Compliance Audits

FFO prepared a formal response for the FLICC Executive Director to the IG's Draft Audit Report Number 93-1001 on FY92 accounts payable transactions, compliance with the General Services Administration, Delegation of Procurement Authority and FEDLINK BOA terms and conditions. The report identified opportunities for strengthening internal controls in all areas, the majority of which had already been implemented.

FFO also issued a task order to Price Waterhouse to review FEDLINK's automated system and: 1) Analyze the current FEDLINK financial management system operations and practices and provide a report on compliance with agency and government financial management policy guidelines and standards; 2) conduct data analysis testing of current transactions to assess system data integrity and functions; 3) prepare a detailed description of areas where FEDLINK is not in compliance with requirements and recommending corrective actions; and 4) identify opportunities for electronic copy/commerce and current legal/statutory constraints. This review will be completed in FY96.

Budget and Revenue

FY95 Fee Revenue Rebate: During FY95, FEDLINK ensured that administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed the program fee projections. By August, FEDLINK had realized a $300,000 surplus based on signed IAG's which had resulted from reduced personnel costs. FLICC management decided to rebate the surplus to members based on FFO analysis that the transactions could be executed in a limited manner with minor disruptions to year-end finance and procurement activity. The rebates were based on a member's contribution to FEDLINK fees, exclusive of the direct pay flat fee of $850 per service. FFO processed over 700 rebate transactions in addition to planning and coordinating all rebate activity. The entire rebate process was accomplished by mid-September, in time for members to use funds prior to the close of FY95. The final budget and bill revenue statistics show that, in FY95, FEDLINK members deposited more transfer service dollars in the program than had been originally budgeted. FEDLINK's billed program fees exceeded the budgeted fees after rebates (discussed above) as a direct consequence of the unanticipated increase in transfer service dollars received from member agencies.

Attachment A

FLICC Working Groups

FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group
Co-Chair: Karma Beal, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Co-Chair: Dick Meyers, National Archives and Records Administration

FLICC Education Working Group
Chair: Donald Fork, Department of Education

FLICC Finance and Budget Working Group
Chair: Sami W. Klein, National Institute of Standards and Technology

FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group
Chair: Fran Perros, Department of State

FLICC Nominating Working Group
Chair: Alexandra Campbell, TRALINET Center

FLICC Personnel Working Group
Chair: Patricia L. John, Department of Agriculture

FLICC Reference/Public Services Working Group
Chair: Murray Bradley, Naval Research Laboratory

FLICC Survey Working Group
Chair: Elizabeth Yeates, Nuclear Regulatory Commission

FLICC Information Technology Working Group
Chair: Alta Linthicum, National Defense University


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