Fiscal Year 2001
Annual Report of the
Federal Library and Information Center Committee
Susan M. Tarr, Executive Director
Publications and Education Office FEDLINK Operations FEDLINK Fiscal Operations
Highlights of the Year
During Fiscal Year 2001, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) continued to carry out its mission "to foster excellence in federal library and information services through interagency cooperation and to provide guidance and direction for FEDLINK."
FLICC's annual information policy forum, "Preserving Our Federal Heritage in the Digital Era," focused on the unprecedented challenges facing the Federal Government with respect to preserving and providing access in perpetuity to authoritative federal information now that so much government information is available only in electronic form and, in the case of some Web sites, can be conveniently modified by any authorized federal worker without regard for the archival record. FLICC also held its annual FLICC Symposium on the Information Professional, this year exploring approaches and tools for measuring federal library and information center performance.
FLICC working groups achieved a broad agenda in Fiscal Year 2001: the third annual FLICC Awards to recognize the innovative ways federal libraries, librarians and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business, scholarly communities and the American public; a new working group to focuson emerging federal content management issues; a review of current library science educational programs and opportunities for the future; revisions for the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) librarian (1410) qualifications requirements; and expanded access to resources through online video broadcasts, distance learning and the FLICC Web site.
FLICC also continued its collaboration with the Library's General Counsel on a series of meetings between federal agency general counsels and agency librarians. These general counsel fora grew out of the recognition that federal attorneys and librarians face many of the same questions in applying copyright, privacy, FOIA, and other laws to their agencies' activities in the electronic agewith regard both to using information within the agency and to publishing the agency's own information. These meetings enhanced the relationship between agency attorneys and librarians and helped them develop contacts with their counterparts at other agencies. This year's series featured discussions on linking to commercial Web sites and agency responses and approaches to meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Content management and information dissemination were key topics in Fiscal Year 2001. The FLICC Executive Board (FEB) advised Senator Joseph Lieberman's staff on "E-Gov" legislation, andseveral members joined study panels for the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science's (NCLIS) "Comprehensive Assessment of Public Information Dissemination."
FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, continued to enhance its fiscal operations while providing its members with $51.7 million in transfer pay services and $50.5 million in direct pay services, saving federal agencies approximately $11.6 million in vendor volume discounts and approximately $7 million more in cost avoidance.
Fiscal Year 2001 saw continued improvements to the efficiency of the FEDLINK program including new resources and courses on digital libraries, cataloging Internet resources, consortial purchasing opportunities, newly negotiated substantial vendor discounts, and strategies to replace the FEDLINK financial system. Staff members also sponsored 34 seminars and workshops for 1,600 participants and conducted 74 OCLC, Internet, and related training classes for 588 students.
FEDLINK also continued to customize and configure software and support services for electronic invoicing and increase online access to financial information for member agencies and vendors. Furthermore, FEDLINK's continuing financial management effortsensured that FEDLINK successfully passed the Library's Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 2000 transactions performed by Clifton Gunderson, LLP.
Following the enactment of the Fiscal Operations Improvement Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-481) that created statutory authority and a revolving fund for FEDLINK's fee-based activities, FEDLINK staff members worked with Library financial and legal leaders to revise and enhance the FEDLINK program under its new law. The benefits of this new authority include full use of members' fees, no repetitive charging on no-year funds, and more extendable end-of-year spending. In addition, FLICC's Executive Director, by delegation from the Librarian of Congress, may now sign Interagency Agreements (IAGs), IAG amendments, and Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPRs) on behalf of LC. The signatory delegation saves FEDLINK tens of thousands of administrative dollars annually and greatly simplifies and speeds up the IAG process for members.
The new Revolving Fund requirements also mandated a thorough five-year business plan. FEDLINK managers, with guidance from the FEDLINK Advisory Council, began analyzing FEDLINK business processes from a new perspective, including reviewing the mission statement, audiences, market position and message, staffing, andresources.
FLICC managers effectively used Facilitative Leadership (FL) techniques to involve FEDLINK staff and members in the planning process.
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FLICC Quarterly Membership Meetings
In addition to regular FLICC Working Group updates and reports from FLICC/FEDLINK staff members, each FLICC quarterly meeting included a special meeting focus on a new or developing trend in federal libraries: the first FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting featured William Y. Arms, Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University, on "Strategies for Collecting and Preserving Valuable Materials on the Web at the Library of Congress;" the second meeting included a "Legislative Update: IT Issues in the 107th Congress," presented by Congressional Research Service staff members Harold Relyea and Glenn McLoughlin, and Brooke Dickson, Policy Analyst, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), gave an OMB Web policy update; and the third meeting featured Jan Herd, Business Reference Librarian, Science, Technology and Business Division, Library of Congress, and her presentation "Taxonomy Creation and Use on the Web." The fourth meeting, scheduled for September 13, 2001, was cancelled due to national events.
FLICC Executive Board (FEB)
At the July and September FLICC Executive Board (FEB) meetings, board members considered "content management" from a policy perspective while discussing selected provisions of Senate Bill S. 803, the "E-Gov" legislation, sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman. Lieberman's committee counsel asked specifically for FLICC's perspective on revisions and refinements to the legislation. The FEB meeting discussions centered on a centralized Chief Information Officer (CIO) position for federal agencies, a general agency fund for digitization of federal collections, and a process for identifying electronic resources to be cataloged and coordinating federal cataloging and federal indexing systems. The FEB concluded that these initiatives would need funding if agencies were to make substantial progress on digitizing, cataloging and preserving government documents and databases available on the Web.
Two FEB members and FLICC's executive director also served on a study panel for the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science's (NCLIS) "Comprehensive Assessment of Public Information Dissemination." Subsequently, FLICC's executive director testified before the commission in December urging the commission to recommend making information dissemination anexplicitly budgeted responsibility. With adequate resources, she concluded, information professionals throughout the federal government could help execute the recommendations of the assessment and improve access to government information for both internal and external users.
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FLICC Working Groups
(For a list of working groups and chairs, see Figure A.)
FLICC Awards Working Group
To honor the many innovative ways federal libraries, librarians, and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business, research, scholarly communities, and the American public, the Awards Working Group administered a series of national awards for federal librarianship. The three awards are:
Federal Library/Information Center of the Yearto commend a library or information center's outstanding, innovative, and sustained achievements during the fiscal year in fulfilling its organization's mission, fostering innovation in its services, and meeting the needs of its users;
Federal Librarian of the Yearto honor professional achievements during the fiscal year in the advancement oflibrary and information sciences, the promotion and development of services in support of the agency's mission, and demonstrated professionalism as described in the Special Libraries Association's Competencies for Special Librarians in the 21st Century; and
Federal Library Technician of the Yearto recognize the achievements of a federal library technician during the fiscal year for service excellence in support of the library or information center's mission, exceptional technical competency, and flexibility in adapting work methods and dealing with change.
At the annual FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies in March 2001, the Librarian of Congress recognized the following winners of the third annual awards:
Federal Library and/or Information Center of the YearThe Scientific and Technical Information Center, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Library and the U.S. Agency for International Development Library received honorable mention;
Federal Librarian of the Year (tie)Sherrie M. Floyd, Chief, Army Library Program, Vicenza, Italy, and Carlynn J.Thompson, Director, Research Development and Acquisition Information Support Directorate, Defense Technical Information Center; and
Federal Library Technician of the YearDarcy Bates, Library Technician, Electronic Information Center, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Carolly J. Struck, of the U.S. Naval Hospital Medical Library, Great Lakes, Ill., received honorable mention.
The individual award winners each received a certificate and an engraved crystal award in the shape of a book honoring their contributions to the field of federal library and information service, and the institutional winner received a framed, hand-painted certificate for display. The working group then reviewed the program criteria in the spring of 2001 and initiated promotion efforts for the fourth annual awards cycle, including updating the annual promotional brochure with an outside contractor.
FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group
The FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group developed the Fiscal Year 2002 FEDLINK budget and fee structure in the Winter quarter. Subsequent opinions on FEDLINK's revolving fund authority led tomultiple revisions of the budget. Because of timing, the final budget was approved by the FLICC Executive Board late in the summer of 2001. The final budget for Fiscal Year 2002 kept membership fees for transfer pay customers at Fiscal Year 2001 levels: 7.75 percent on accounts up to $300,000 and 7.00 percent on amounts exceeding $300,000. Direct pay fees also remained at Fiscal Year 2001 levels. The Library approved the budget in September 2001.
FLICC Content Management Working Group
In fulfillment of a FLICC member mandate, an ad hoc working group on "content management" formed early in January and made its report to the FEB in mid March. The group recommended that FLICC: (1) foster partnerships with other federal stakeholders; (2) help coordinate major taxonomies and thesauri; (3) expand training on content management topics; and (4) form a working group to spearhead these efforts.
In the spring of 2001, members of the ad hoc working met with the chair of the Information Technology Working Group to review their individual charges, missions, goals and action items. It soon became clear that the two groups should merge. In response to current trends in information science, they decided to use the term content management and formally call their working group theFLICC Content Management Working Group (CMWG).
Once the merger was complete and approved by the FEB, the working group initiated efforts to carry out the recommendations. Its first official meeting was held in June. In addition to reviewing and prioritizing its goals and activities, the group finalized preparations for its August Discussion Series program, "Demystifying Knowledge Management" which focused on the broad view of knowledge management and attempts to integrate or relate the various perspectives in use by federal knowledge managers. In the summer, the working group made progress on fostering partnerships by merging with the Special Interest Group on Content Management of the CIO Council's Knowledge Management Working Group.
FLICC Education Working Group
During Fiscal Year 2001, the FLICC Education Working Group developed or supported 24 programs for 1,066 participants in the areas of digital imaging, training trainers, legal research, technician training, reference issues, cataloging and preservation. In addition, the FLICC Orientations to National Libraries and Information Centers and brown-bag luncheon discussions continued throughout the year.
The working group also explored creating a certificate program for library technicians, reviewed external library science courses and curriculum, and met with the past president of the Special Libraries Association to identify training needs for the future.
FLICC Nominating Working Group
The FLICC Nominating Working Group oversaw the 2001 election process for FLICC rotating members, FLICC Executive Board members and the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC). Librarians representing a variety of federal agencies agreed to place their names in nomination for these positions.
FLICC Personnel Working Group
The working group made progress in updating the GS-1410 Qualification Standard for librarians and in expanding and developing core competencies for the professional librarian series. Late in the year, the group began discussions on recruiting new librarians to the federal information community.
FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group
The working group is planning the creation of a register of endangered rare and historic collections. They are also developing a standard federal conservation/preservation servicecontract through FEDLINK, and are in the process of finalizing a statement of work for that initiative and others for rare books, flat paper, preservation and microfilming.
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FLICC Publications and Education Office
Publications: In Fiscal Year 2001, FLICC supported an ambitious publication schedule producing six issues of FEDLINK Technical Notes: November/December 2000 (12 pages); January/February 2001 (12 pages); March/April 2001 (12 pages); May/June 2001 (12 pages); July/August 2001 (12 pages); and September/October 2001 (8 pages); and three issues of the FLICC Quarterly Newsletter: Summer/Fall 2000 (12 pages); Winter 2001 (12 pages); and Spring 2001 (12 pages).
FLICC streamlined and targeted materials to support the FEDLINK program more efficiently, including the Fiscal Year 2001 FEDLINK Registration Pamphlet, and six FEDLINK Information Alerts. FLICC also produced the minutes of the four Fiscal Year 2000 FLICC Quarterly Meetings and bimonthly FLICC Executive Board meetings and all FLICC Education Program promotional and support materials including the FLICC Forum announcement, Forum attendee and speaker badges, press advisories, speeches and speaker remarks, and Forum collateral materials. FLICC produced 31 FLICC Meeting Announcements to promote FLICC education programs, FEDLINKmembership and OCLC users' meetings, brown-bag discussion series, and education institutes, along with badges, programs, certificates of completion, and other supporting materials.
FLICC and FEDLINK staff members worked diligently throughout 2001 to continue to expand and update the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site. A series of teleconference meetings with a Web design firm has resulted in a prototype Web page scheduled for a Spring 2002 launch. FLICC posted several video series to its Web site including its awards program and several luncheon discussions. The site also contains a variety of information resources, FEDLINK member information, links to vendors and other members, listings of membership and minutes of various FLICC working groups and governing bodies, access to account data online, awards program information, event calendars, and an online training registration system that is updated nightly. FLICC staff members converted all publications, newsletters, announcements, alerts, member materials, meeting minutes and working group resources into HTML format, uploading current materials within days of their being printed. Staff members completed an extensive initiative to keep the numerous number of Web links current throughout the Web site and now maintain the site's links on a formal quarterly basis.
Through collaboration with the FEDLINK Network Operations staff members, the FLICC Web site continues to expand and offer resources including OCLC Usage Analysis Reports, pricing data, and many new documents, such as the Fiscal Year 2002 budget materials and training resources. Staff members also worked with the Library's Contracts and Logistics Division to make electronic versions of FEDLINK's Requests for Proposals available online for prospective vendors.
In Fiscal Year 2001, Publications staff members also worked with the Member Services Unit to revise and enhance FEDLINK's Online Registration/Online Interagency Agreement (IAG)system and began creating additional FEDLINK forms for members to use to manage their accounts through the online system.
Education: In conjunction with the FLICC Education Working Group, FLICC offered a total of 34 seminars, workshops, and lunchtime discussions to 1,600 members of the federal library and information center community. Multi day institutes covered digital imaging, legal research, library technician training, and disaster mitigation; one-day sessions offered hands-on and theoretical knowledge on training trainers, marketing training, reference and reference interviewing, electronic interlibrary loan, knowledge and content management and developing andmanaging Web sites. FLICC was also host to two General Counsel Fora, one on Web linking policies and the other on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(See Figure C for a complete listing.)
FEDLINK staff members developed, coordinated and moderated the 2001 FLICC Symposium on the Information Professional. The theme was measuring library performance and presenters included Mark Kaprow, Webmaster, General Services Administration; Eileen Abels, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland; and James Krzywicki, President, North American Operations, RoweCom, Inc.
FLICC continued its commitment to library technicians' continuing education by hosting satellite downlinks to a popular teleconference, "Soaring to...Excellence," sponsored by the College of DuPage. Following the success of previous programs, FLICC held the fifth annual "Federal Library Technicians Institute." This week-long summer institute again focused on orienting library technicians to the full array of library functions in the federal context. Federal and academic librarians joined FLICC professionals to discuss various areas of librarianship, including acquisitions, cataloging, reference, and automation.
FLICC also provided organizational, promotional, and logistical support for FEDLINK meetings and events including: the FEDLINK Fall and Spring Membership Meetings; two FEDLINK OCLC Users Group meetings; and numerous vendor demonstrations."
FLICC continued to improve its multimedia distance learning initiative through increased use of upgraded equipment and software to produce high quality, edited educational programs. Through its ongoing arrangement with the National Library of Education, FLICC made these videos available for interlibrary loans to federal libraries throughout the country and around the world.
Staff members also produced and uploaded downloadable video clips of the FLICC FY2000 Awards ceremony and a series of Web development, electronic finding aids, digital libraries, and consortium development lunchtime discussions.
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FEDLINK (Federal Library and Information Network)
In Fiscal Year 2001, FEDLINK gave federal agencies cost-effective access to an array of automated information retrieval services for online research, cataloging, and interlibrary loan (ILL). FEDLINK members also procured print serials, electronic journals,books and other publications, CD-ROMs, and document delivery via Library of Congress/FEDLINK contracts with more than 100 major vendors. Staff members continued to explore consortial arrangements, both within and across federal agencies.
The FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC) met nine times during Fiscal Year 2001. In addition to general oversight activities, FAC members advised FEDLINK managers on issues related to implementing FEDLINK's new Revolving Fund law, options for the Fiscal Year 2002 budget, and the draft 5-year business plan. They also participated in a concept mapping exercise for the redesign of the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site.
At the annual Fall FEDLINK Membership meeting, participants learned more about successful federal library programs. John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book and Co-chair of the LC Bicentennial, presented a brief history of the Library of Congress and federal libraries. Barbara Christine, Chief of the Library Branch, U.S. Army Community & Family Support Center, gave a slide presentation on setting up general libraries for deployed troops in Bosnia. Janice Beattie, Director of Central and Regional Libraries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), highlighted some of that library's award winning initiatives, which led to their selection as the 1999FLICC Library of the Year. At the Spring FEDLINK Membership meeting, Donna Scheeder, Special Libraries Association President, addressed changing competencies in special libraries in the digital age. Carol Bursik, of the U.S. Geological Survey and chair of the FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group, presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2002 budget.
FEDLINK Network OperationsOCLC Network Activity
The Spring FEDLINK OCLC Users Group meeting included a presentation by George Needham, OCLC vice president for member services, on the OCLC Users Council governance study and on OCLC's strategic plan. He reported on conclusions that indicate OCLC's governance must expand to include more international membership and its current services need to be revised and expanded into new areas such as digital preservation and the harvesting of metadata to respond to the growing use of the Web to publish and access systems. FEDLINK staff members continue to support, monitor and publicize these new developments for their applicability in the federal arena. Two such developments of note include OCLC and GPO's joint effort to support digital archiving by identifying and testing key elements for additional functionality in the Cooperative Online Resources Catalog (CORC) system, and OCLC's support of LC's Cooperative Digital Reference Service, both highlighted at OCLC Users Meetings. FEDLINK staffmembers supplemented the spring Users meeting with product labs that provided detailed demonstrations of OCLC's current Web products, especially CORC, ILLiad, and WebExpress.
FEDLINK members elected Bursik, as the new representative to the OCLC Members (formerly Users) Council.
The FEDLINK OCLC team continued to attend biweekly meetings with OCLC and other networks via the Web and conference calls. Staff members heard briefings on enhancements to CORC and the cataloging MicroEnhancer, the new ILL Web interface, improvements to FirstSearch and Electronic Collections Online, and other services. These updates supplemented semiannual meetings at OCLC and were useful in daily support of members, in writing the OCLC column for FEDLINK Technical Notes, and in providing briefings to members at the Spring and Fall User meetings.
Federal libraries continue to be significant users of CORC. By the end of the fiscal year, 21 FEDLINK member libraries were making consistent use of CORC. Suzanne Pilsk, Smithsonian Libraries, was the first chair of the OCLC CORC User Group and hosts the group's Web site.
FEDLINK staff members continued to monitor usage of OCLC, postingusage data to ALIX-FS monthly and working to reduce deficits in OCLC accounts.
Staff members made site visits to 10 federal libraries to discuss ways to improve use of OCLC services: the National Library of Medicine, National Agricultural Library, National Library of Education, National Institutes of Health, DC Public Library, Naval Research Laboratory Library, the U.S. Naval Academy Library, Census Bureau, the Marine Mammal Commission, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
FEDLINK Training Program
The 2001 FEDLINK training program included technical training classes and customized workshops for members at the FEDLINK training facility and onsite at federal libraries throughout the world. Courses on basic Web searching and finding Web resources on news and current events drew 21 students, while 29 courses on OCLC use drew 174 students. Four of these courses were taught by FEDLINK member Robert Ellett, Jr., chief of cataloging at the Armed Forces Staff College. He taught Advanced Cataloging and Authorities. FEDLINK staff members taught 385 students on 13 Air Force and Army bases located around the U.S. and in Guam, Japan, Okinawa, and Korea. Training began but was interrupted on September 11 at Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores. FEDLINK alsoarranged for a Library of Congress trainer to teach descriptive cataloging to Army catalogers at US Army-Europe Headquarters in Germany.
See Figure B for a listing of classes and workshops.
FEDLINK maintained an open request for proposal (RFP) for online retrieval services, which attracted responses from NetLibrary, SKYMINDER, Factiva, RegScan and ORS Publications. FEDLINK assisted the Army in establishing a consortium for use of ProQuest, aided the Library of Congress in its renegotiations of consortial purchases from Lexis-Nexis and West services, and worked with individual agencies such as the Treasury and State departments to identify similar opportunities.
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FEDLINK Fiscal Operations
During Fiscal Year 2001, FEDLINK processed 8,295 member service transaction requests for current and prior years, representing $51.7 million in current year transfer pay, $3.7 million in prior year transfer pay, $50.5 million in current year direct pay, and virtually zero in prior year direct pay service dollars, saving members more than $11.6 million in vendor volume discounts and approximately $7 million more in cost avoidance. Staff members processed 52,087 invoices for payment of current and prior year orders and earned $9,997 in discounts in excess of interestpenalties for late payment of FEDLINK vendor invoices. FEDLINK also completed Fiscal Year 1996 member refunds to close out obligations for expired appropriations and remaining account balances and successfully passed the Library of Congress Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 2000 transactions performed by Clifton Gunderson, LLP.
During the year FEDLINK worked intently with LC management, FLICC advisory groups and the General Accounting Office (GAO) in planning to implement FEDLINK's new of the Revolving Fund (P.L. 106-481, effective October 1, 2001). The Member Services Unit collaborated with LC/ITS to ensure the availability of the Online Registration System for customer procurement under the Revolving Fund 45 days before the October 1 start of the new fiscal year. Managers also streamlined the OCLC deficit management process to eliminate problems associated with duplicate communication from FEDLINK units and to link the review and analysis of member deficit status to monthly termination decisions.
FEDLINK modified GMSI's contract to develop implementation conventions for processing electronic data invoices by December 31, 2001. The beta application software must still be tested for acceptance of delivery. FEDLINK managers also modified the "vouchering" process for vendor invoices (with special emphasison publication orders) to accommodate operating in the revolving fund environment.
FEDLINK supported the Library's procurement planning efforts for a financial management system that will be used by all legislative agencies. Because the replacement legislative financial system is scheduled for implementation in 2004, short term performance issues concerning SYMIN's Paradox database require FLICC management to look for a replacement local FMS immediately.
FEDLINK staff members have continued to support reviews and revisions to the interactive cost benefit model developed for member agencies to evaluate their FEDLINK procurement decisions. The next step will be to post the model on FLICC's Web site for member agencies to use.
FEDLINK Vendor Services
FEDLINK vendor service dollars totaled $51.7 million for transfer pay customers and $50.5 million for direct pay customers. Electronic information retrieval services represented $16.1 million and $37.3 million spent respectively by transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, online services comprised the largest procurement for transfer pay anddirect pay customers, representing $15.2 million and $36.9 million, respectively. Publication acquisition services totaled $28.9 million and $13.0 million respectively for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, serials subscription services comprised the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $21.8 million and $12.8 million, respectively. Library support services represented $6.7 million and $74 thousand respectively for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, bibliographic utilities constituted the largest procurement area, representing $5.0 million and $74 thousand spent by transfer pay and direct pay customers, respectively.
Accounts Receivable and Member Services
FEDLINK processed 598 signed IAGs for Fiscal Year 2001 registrations from federal libraries, information centers, and other federal offices. In addition, FEDLINK processed 2,207 IAG amendments (1,031 for Fiscal Year 2001 and 1,176 for prior years) for agencies that added, adjusted, or ended service funding. These IAGs and IAG amendments represented 8,295 individual service requests to begin, move, convert, or cancel service from FEDLINK vendors. FEDLINK executed these service requests by generating 7,906 delivery orders for the Library's Contracts and Logistics Division to issue to vendors. FEDLINK processed $51.7million in service dollars for 2,263 transfer pay accounts and $50.5 million in service dollars for 145 direct pay accounts. Included in these member service transactions were 640 member requests to move prior year (no-year and multi-year) funds across fiscal year boundaries. These no-year and multi-year service request transactions represented an additional contracting volume of $6.5 million comprising 1,027 delivery orders.
The FEDLINK Fiscal Hotline responded to a variety of member questions ranging from routine queries about IAGs, delivery orders, and account balances, to complicated questions regarding FEDLINK policies and operating procedures. In addition, the FLICC Web site and email contacts continued to offer FEDLINK members and vendors 24-hour access to fiscal operations and account data. Staff members also met with many FEDLINK member agencies and FEDLINK vendors to discuss complicated account problems and to resolve complex current and prior year situations. FEDLINK's online financial service system, ALIX-FS, maintained current and prior year transfer pay account data and continued to provide members early access to their monthly balance information throughout the fiscal year. FEDLINK also prepared monthly mailings that alerted individual members to unsigned IAG amendments, deficit accounts, rejected invoices, and delinquent accounts; and issued the Year End Schedule for FiscalYearY 2001 IAG transactions.
Transfer Pay Accounts Payable Services
For transfer pay users, FEDLINK processed 52,087 invoices for both current and prior year orders. Staff members processed these vendor invoices swiftly and efficiently to earn $9,997 in prompt payment discounts in excess of interest payment penalties for late payments. FEDLINK continued to maintain open accounts for three prior years to pay publications service invoices ("bill laters" and "back orders") for members using books and serials services. Staff members issued 88,553 statements to members (27,537 for the current year and 61,016 for prior years) and generated current fiscal year statements for electronic information 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.
FEDLINK issued final Fiscal Year 1996 statements to close obligations for members with expired Fiscal Year 1996 appropriations and quarterly statements for prior fiscal years. FEDLINK also supported the reconciliation of Fiscal Year 1997 FEDLINK vendor services accounts and issued the final call to vendors for Fiscal Year 1997 Invoices.
Budget and Revenue
During Fiscal Year 2001, FEDLINK earned approximately 93 percent of its target Fiscal Year 2001 operating budget in fee revenue from signed IAGs. Program obligations did not exceed fee projections because unanticipated attrition and delays in hiring lowered administrative expenditures. As Fiscal Year 2001 ended, FEDLINK fee revenue was approximately 3.6 percent below Fiscal Year 2000 levels for the same time period. The decrease in fee revenue was primarily attributed to a 3.4 percent decrease in transfer pay services compared to the previous fiscal year.
Revolving Fund (P.L. 106-481) Implementation
Last year, Congress passed the Fiscal Operations Improvement Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-481) that provides statutory authority and a revolving fund for FEDLINK's fee-based activities. FEDLINK staff members began conferring with the Library's Financial Services Directorate (FSD) and the Library's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to create streamlined guidelines and regulations for members using FEDLINK in Fiscal Year 2002. Finally, the Library requested legal guidance from the General Accounting Office (GAO) to ensure that revolving fund requirements were fully met.
Throughout the year, FEDLINK managers focused on developing a sound business model for the revolving fund authority program. The executive director consulted with key program managers and FEDLINK membership advisory groups on: (1) business models for registration/agreement processing and the depositing of funds in the program; (2) use of prior year obligated balances and their transfer to the revolving fund; (3) opportunities to innovate FEDLINK's procurement vehicles; and (4) fee policies for moving no-year and eligible funds across fiscal year boundaries.
For a thorough interpretation of all of the issues related to initiating and managing a revolving fund program, two months after the new law was enacted FEDLINK managers analyzed and documented issues needing clarification by the Library's fiscal and legal experts. After several months of internal Library analysis and interpretation, FEDLINK managers worked with the Library's OGC representatives to contact GAO attorneys to help Library staff apply the new authority.
In September, the GAO attorneys advised FEDLINK that members working with annual appropriations are still governed by the rules for annual appropriations even under the FEDLINK revolving fund. In GAO's opinion, "...section 103(e) does not clearly indicate that Congress intended unobligated balances of agency advances to be available without fiscal limitation regardless of time restrictions imposed on the appropriation from which theadvances were withdrawn." The GAO response also said that "when...an agency withdraws funds from its appropriation and makes them available for credit to another appropriation, that amount is available for obligation only for the same time period as the appropriation from which the funds were withdrawn...except as specifically provided by law." In addition, "...section 103 will not permit the Library to retain any deobligated, unexpended fiscal (or fixed) year appropriations advanced by a customer agency that the Library determines, after filling the customer's order and reconciling the customer's account, is not needed for the costs the Library incurred in filling the order."
At meetings and in publications throughout Fiscal Year 2001, FEDLINK members were provided detailed updates along with an assessment of the budgetary impact the Revolving Fund would have on their management review process. Although the final GAO guidance on P.L. 106-481 was more limited than FEDLINK members had anticipated, the new authority provides a number of benefits, including: (1) full use of members' fees; (2) no repetitive charging on no-year funds; (3) more extendable end-of-year spending; (4) capital cumulation for large expenditures; (5) program stability; and (6) the ability to plan for the long term.
FEDLINK managers revisited the proposed Fiscal Year 2002 budget several times to anticipate potential regulations and procedures and developed various scenarios that featured reviews of FEDLINK's fee structure, use of prior year revenue from fees and service dollars, and model interagency agreement language.
The final budget held member fees constant with unobligated fee revenue from prior years because those funds were eligible for carry over into the FEDLINK Administrative Operating account. FEDLINK and FSD then documented transaction processing requirements to support the accounting transition to the Revolving Fund.
Member Services revised the IAG text to reflect the business model for implementing the Revolving Fund. The OGC made additional changes to the proposed IAG text, including modifying the duration to "indefinite." FEDLINK managers also invested significant time and effort in revising the member online program handbook. The revisions reflect the changes in program operations resulting from implementation of revolving fund authority.
Under the new law, FLICC's Executive Director is now authorized (by delegation from the Librarian of Congress) to sign IAGs, IAGamendments, and Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPRs) on behalf of LC. This saves FEDLINK tens of thousands of administrative dollars annually and greatly simplifies and speeds up the IAG process for members.
Financial Management Initiatives
Online Registration: Member Services collaborated with the Library's Information Technology Services (ITS) to ensure the availability of the Online Registration System for customer procurement in Fiscal Year 2002 under the Revolving Fund. Through their combined efforts the following was accomplished: (1) finalized Web site registration processes and IAGs; (2) defined requirements to set up the Online IAG System for early processing of member procurement requests for Fiscal Year 2002; (3) added the ability to register online for agencies new to the FEDLINK program; and (4) defined requirements for modifying the online system to process IAG amendments.
OCLC Deficit Management: FEDLINK managers streamlined the OCLC deficit management process and eliminated duplicate interdepartmental communication, linking the review and analysis of member deficit status to monthly termination decisions. OCLC users were formally notified of their deficits in October and if they did not take action to sign their IAGs by the end January,there were notified that their passwords would be terminated. This process now repeats monthly during payment review/approval of monthly OCLC bills with a formal receivable established in late September of the fiscal year for members still in deficit.
Invoice Processing: FEDLINK developed a statement of work to amend the contract with GMSI to allow it to complete three standard implementation conventions (ICs)for invoice data interchange with FEDLINK books, serials, and online vendors. Beta testing is now scheduled for early in Fiscal Year 2002.
The Business Manager's Office, Systems and Contracts staff members jointly reviewed the vouchering process for vendor invoices (with special emphasis on publication orders) in the revolving fund environment. While under the Economy Act all work associated with placing an order occurs within the current fiscal year, under the Revolving Fund FEDLINK can accept IAGs in the current fiscal year, and Contracts staff members may process the orders in the subsequent fiscal year. The team identified a systems solution to accommodate this new opportunity; implementation is expected in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2002.
FEDLINK Subsidiary FMS Requirements: FEDLINK managers met withthe Library's Chief Financial Officer and other FSD staff to discuss FEDLINK plans to replace its local financial management system (FMS) and agreed to a long term plan to consider joining the Consolidated Legislative Agencies' FMS procurement in Fiscal Year 2004. FEDLINK's Business Manager also consulted with FEDLINK staff members and FSD to define FEDLINK unique requirements for the Consolidated Legislative Agencies' FMS and completed the requirements for the Library effort.
In the short run, however, performance issues with FEDLINK's current local FMS require immediate resolution. Before purchasing any new FMS software FEDLINK agreed with FSD to review the feasibility of using other FMS software at the Library, test the capacity of any replacement to ensure it can handle the volume of invoice traffic and simultaneous data entry users, and meet with other federal agencies using the proposed system.
Audit Reports: FEDLINK successfully passed the "Library of Congress Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 2000 Transactions" performed by Clifton Gunderson, LLP. The FEDLINK Business Manager and the FLICC Executive Director completed Vulnerability Assessments of program financial risks for Library Services, the Office of Inspector General and the Planning Management and Evaluation Division (PMED) audit review. As a follow-uprequirement the Business Manager completed Detail Control Reviews of program financial operations: FEDLINK staff members supported these audits through financial systems briefings, document review and analysis, testing and verification of account balances in the central and subsidiary financial system, financial statement preparation support, security briefings and reviews, and research and response to follow-up audit questions and findings.
The Fiscal Officer and Fiscal Systems Analyst also provided central accounting member detail for Treasury reporting with quarterly reconciliation reports for all active fiscal years.
Member Cost Benefit Model: The Fiscal/Accounting Officer has continued to support the review and revision to the interactive cost benefit model developed for member agencies to evaluate their FEDLINK procurement decisions. The model is currently being reviewed by the Executive Director and the FEDLINK Network Coordinator and the focus is on updating the Serials Publication component of the model. FEDLINK plans to post the model on FLICC's Website in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2002 for member agency usage.
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Figure A: FLICC Working Groups
FLICC Awards Working Group
Chair: Mark Ziomek, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group
Chair: Carol Bursik, U.S. Geological Survey
FLICC Content Management Working Group
Co-Chair: Rod Atkinson, Library of Congress
Co-Chair: Blane Dessy, Department of Justice
FLICC Education Working Group
Chair: Sandy Morton-Schwalb, Defense Technical Information Center
FLICC Nominating Working Group
Chair: Gail Henderson-Green, Internal Revenue Service
FLICC Personnel Working Group
Chair: Thomas A. Downing, Government Printing Office
FLICC Policy Working Group
Chair: Kurt Molholm, Defense Technical Information Center
FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group
Co-Chair: Robert Schnare, Naval War College
Co-Chair: Susan Frampton, Smithsonian Institution
Figure B: FEDLINK Training Classes in Fiscal Year 2001
|Introduction to Searching OCLC||6||33||11||58|
|OCLC ILL Subsystem||4||19||10||45|
|Advanced ILL Subsystem||2||5|
|Copy Cataloging on OCLC||4||28||8||138|
|Original Cataloging on OCLC||2||20|
|Cataloging Internet Resources/CORC||4||28|
|Finding It: Intro to Research on the Web||3||17|
|Special Web Topics: News/Current Events||1||4|
Figure C: FLICC Education Programs in Fiscal Year 2000
|Discussion Series on Web Design (Part One)||32|
|Great Escape Series/U.S. Geological Survey||39|
|FEDLINK Membership Meeting||57|
|OCLC Users Group Meeting||44|
|Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives||42|
|Train the Trainer||72|
|Discussion Series on Web Design (Part Two)||61|
|Great Escape Series/NIH||31|
|Discussion Series on Web Design (Part Three)||28|
|Information Professional Symposium||72|
|Discussion Series on Consortium Development||42|
|Great Escape Series/Justice Department||51|
|Soaring to Excellence Teleconference (Part One)||26|
|Marketing Your Training Internally||32|
|Legal Research Institute||27|
|Soaring to Excellence/Part Two||26|
|Soaring to Excellence/Part Three||26|
|FEDLINK Spring Membership Meeting||73|
|OCLC Users Group Meeting||47|
|Creating a New Reference Librarianship||42|
|Electronic ILL: Are We There Yet?||55|
|Disaster Mitigation for Cultural Collections||15|
|Discussion Series on Reference/Citation Linking||54|
|Great Escapes Series/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||27|
|Great Escapes Series/Supreme Court||20|
|Great Escapes Series/National Arboretum I||21|
|Information Technology Update||88|
|Great Escapes Series/National Arboretum II||23|
|Advanced Reference Interview Skills||46|
|The Institute for Federal Library Technicians||68|
|Great Escapes Series/Naval Observatory||30|
|Discussion Series on Knowledge Management||80|
|Discussion Series on Web-Based Finding Aids||70|
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