Fiscal Year 1997
Annual Report of the
Federal Library and Information Center Committee

Susan M. Tarr, Executive Director

Highlights      Quarterly Meetings      Working Groups
Publications and Education Office     FEDLINK Operations     FEDLINK Fiscal Office

Highlights of the Year

During Fiscal Year 1997, 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 expert panelists exploring how changes in policy and advances in technology and the telecommunications industry are moving federal information providers toward new devices and content, and how these advances will affect the quality of information. FLICC also held its annual information technology update, this year focusing on agency Intranets and how librarians can participate in their development. FLICC reconstituted two previous working groups: the Policy Working Group and the Personnel Working Group. Other FLICC working groups continued working with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to complete the final publication from the 1994 nationwide survey of federal libraries and information centers; developed new educational initiatives in the areas of acquisitions, cataloging, advocacy, library technician training, and distance learning; issued surveys to members on education programming and fees and analyzed their responses; and expanded access to resources through the FLICC Web site. FLICC sponsored 31 seminars and workshops for 1413 participants. Staff also conducted 113 OCLC and Internet training classes for 820 students.

FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, continued to enhance its fiscal operations, successfully passing the Library of Congress Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 1996 and closing Fiscal Year 1997 with the highest service dollars total in its history. In Fiscal Year 1997, FEDLINK provided its members with $55.4 million in transfer pay services and $72.3 million in direct pay services, saving federal agencies more than nine million dollars in cost avoidance and millions more in vendor discounts.

FEDLINK Network Operations (FNO) and FLICC Publications and Education Office (FPE) revised and expanded the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site (, including lists of FLICC and FEDLINK executive and advisory boards, information about working groups, links to FEDLINK member and vendor home pages, and referrals to other sites of interest to federal librarians.

Also in Fiscal Year 1997, FEDLINK contracted with Abacus Technology Corporation to perform a strategic review of the program in the following areas: program cost/benefit analysis; development of a formal five-year business plan; and program cost allocation/accounting for transfer pay and direct pay activity. FEDLINK program managers collectively reviewed and approved the Abacus reports; staff will implement a number of the Abacus recommendations in Fiscal Year 1998. FEDLINK completed the year with 96 vendors, including expanded technical processing services and on-line services.

FLICC Quarterly Membership Meetings

The first FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting featured guest speaker, James Matarazzo, Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, on the topic of outcome measurement. This presentation concluded a series that focused on advocacy for libraries through demonstrating results to agency management.

The second FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting was host to two guest speakers, Jane Bortnick Griffith, Specialist in Information Technology Policy, Science Policy Research Division, LC/CRS, and Glenn Schlarman, Policy Analyst for Information Policy and Technology, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Griffith gave a legislative update on the 105th Congress, while Schlarman reported on new OMB policy initiatives. Members also reviewed and approved the new FLICC Bylaws.

The third FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting centered around participatory/break-out discussions on the FEDLINK 5-year business plan and the role of FEDLINK within the FLICC mission. The meeting highlighted standard FLICC Working Group updates and reports from LC and FLICC/FEDLINK managers. Members reviewed, discussed, and approved the FLICC Fiscal Year 1998 Budget.

The fourth quarterly membership meeting was held in early Fiscal Year 1998.

FLICC Working Groups

FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group

The FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group began meeting in January to develop the Fiscal Year 1998 FEDLINK budget and fee structure. Before their first meeting, FEDLINK had Abacus Technology Corporation review all FEDLINK cost centers and evaluate the FEDLINK methods of calculating and allotting program costs. That review concluded that more staff time was spent on technical assistance for the direct pay interagency agreements (IAGs) than had previously been estimated and that the allocation of costs between direct and transfer pay accounts needed revision. Based on that study, FEDLINK modified its direct pay service fees for Fiscal Year 1998. After four years of level fees, the working group proposed that the direct pay account fees increase from $800 to $1200 for all accounts; the supplemental fee increased to 0.6% on accounts exceeding $100,000. Transfer pay fees remained at Fiscal Year 1997 levels.

Members of the working group called 30 of the largest direct pay account holders to gauge their reactions to the proposed fee increases. The issue was also the topic of a Web site survey. Responses to both the phone survey and the Web survey were positive; most of the members who responded said they could weather the proposed direct pay fee increases.

Working group members first presented the budget proposal to FEDLINK and FLICC memberships and then mailed the proposal to all FEDLINK and FLICC members. The FLICC voting members unanimously supported the Fiscal Year 1998 budget proposal.

FLICC Education Working Group

During Fiscal Year 1997, the FLICC Education Working Group developed or supported more than 30 programs in the areas of library advocacy and marketing, acquisitions, technician training, and federal library advocacy. The working group also developed, issued, and analyzed the results of a member survey to gain a clear perspective on the educational needs of member libraries and librarians.

In December 1996, the working group sponsored "Getting the Word Out: Marketing Your Library's Information Service," with speakers including: Stephen Abrams, Director of Corporate and News Information, Micromedia Limited; Barbara Smith, Smithsonian Institution Libraries; Annette Gohlke, Library Benchmarking International; and Herb White, Indiana University. Nearly 80 federal librarians joined together at this program to discuss the necessity of library advocacy and to consider various techniques of marketing the services offered in their respective libraries.

During the winter months FLICC continued its commitment to continuing education initiatives for librarians and library technicians education by hosting satellite down links to two popular teleconference series, Soaring to... Excellence and Dancing with... Change, both sponsored by the College of DuPage. A week-long institute at the Library of Congress in August 1997 continued to focus on educating library paraprofessionals. Federal and academic libraries joined FLICC professionals to offer "The Federal Library Paraprofessional Institute" which focused on various areas of librarianship, including acquisitions, cataloging, reference, and automation. FLICC received overwhelmingly positive evaluations from participants. The working group intends to repeat this program next summer so that more library technicians can attend. The working group also sponsored a week-long institute on federal acquisitions in July. The program included speakers from the federal, academic, and vendor communities, and offered participants a chance to network and share experiences.

The working group continued to sponsor a number of tours of other federal libraries as part of the "FLICC Orientation to National Libraries" program. Featured libraries included: The Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, the Government Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the National Library of Education, the Defense Technical Information Center, the National Technical Information Service, and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

FLICC Information Technology Working Group

In Fiscal Year 1997 the Information Technology Working Group continued to address three areas members had identified as having the greatest importance: making informed choices about new technology and automation issues, facing the challenges of constant technology change, and developing Web sites and resources. To promote information sharing on technology issues among federal librarians, the working group developed an assessment instrument to gather information about systems that the libraries are using. The results of this informative questionnaire will be accessible through the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site, and will allow federal librarians to assess the level of automation in their libraries by comparing their agency's use of technology with other agencies' library profiles.

The working group also sponsored a series of guest articles in the FLICC Newsletter, asking former federal librarians to share their thoughts on how technology change will affect federal libraries in the future. To assist federal librarians in the use of Internet technologies in their agencies, the working group sponsored the 1997 FLICC Information Technology Update, entitled "Spinning the Intranet Web." This day-long discussion, held in January 1997, featured a hands-on presentation of the how's and why's of Intranets. A dynamic result of this program was the development of an ongoing series of Internet-focused brown bag sessions.

In Fiscal Year 1997, the working group also created two new subgroups: one to focus on maintenance contracts for integrated library systems, and another on consortium purchasing of electronic products among federal agencies and how FEDLINK might play a role in facilitating those purchases.

FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group

In Fiscal Year 1997, the working group completed its revisions of the bylaws. The FEB voted unanimously to endorse the revised bylaws in its November 1996 meeting. The FLICC membership subsequently approved the revised bylaws, and FLICC Chair Winston Tabb signed them in February 1997. Since the major change in the bylaws affected the election process, the working group also worked closely with FLICC staff as they revised the election procedures for the FLICC Nominating Working Group.

FLICC Nominating Working Group

The FLICC Nominating Working Group oversaw the 1997 election process for FLICC Rotating Members, the FEDLINK Advisory Council, and the FLICC Executive Board. Librarians representing nearly 20 federal agencies agreed to place their names in nomination for these positions. The working group also presided over the review and revision of two documents: "FLICC Nominating Working Group Mission Statement" and the "Annual Nomination/Election Procedures and Schedules."

FLICC Personnel Working Group

The Personnel Working Group met twice in Fiscal Year 1997. The working group held their first meeting in June 1997 to discuss the status of the Office of Personnel and Management's (OPM) test for qualifying non-MLS personnel as librarians and to consider the influence a previous FLICC document, "Qualification Needs for Federal Librarians," may have had on OPM's consideration of the MLS as a positive education requirement for the 1410 series.

The working group's second meeting, held in September 1997, continued to clarify issues raised during the first meeting. Steve Perloff, OPM, attended as a guest speaker to answer questions and provide suggestions for projects that will be useful in improving requirements for the 1410 series. Perloff stated that OPM does not presently consider the MLS degree to be a positive minimal education requirement for the 1410 series. He reported that at present, candidates for librarian vacancies may be qualified either by possession of an MLS degree, by other degrees, by experience, or by some combination of these elements. Given this situation, OPM has advised the working group that particular effort is needed to develop knowledge, skill, and ability statements within vacancy announcements that fully reflect the professional qualifications that are required to meet specific position vacancies. In response to this discussion, FLICC staff, with OPM's concurrence, is now preparing a notice for federal librarians that states that OPM no longer administers the qualifying test for the librarian series.

The working group continued its efforts to develop sample knowledge, skill, and ability requirements for job vacancy announcements. These samples will be adaptable for specific announcements and will help attract qualified applicants. The group will also attempt to determine how many staff members without MLS degrees are currently employed in the 1410 series in federal libraries.

FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group

In Fiscal Year 1997, the FLICC Preservation and Binding Work Group reviewed preservation resources on the Web and selected sites for links to the FLICC Web site. Members of the group also worked with the Government Printing Office to review its library binding contract. During the year the working group helped to promote many local preservation training opportunities sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, and CAPNET, a local preservation organization. The latter part of the year was spent working with FEDLINK staff and others to develop vendor lists, guidelines, and possible contracts for various preservation services such as box enclosures, preservation photocopying, collection assessment, and book repair.

FLICC Survey Working Group

Organized in Fiscal Year 1991 to update 1978 federal library statistics, the FLICC Survey Working Group continued its efforts with the NCES to interpret Fiscal Year 1994 census data of federal libraries and information centers. (The working group published the first product, the survey tabulations and highlights, in July 1996.) In August 1997, the working group released The Directory of Federal Libraries and Information Centers, a compilation of libraries identified through the survey. Arranged by branch of government, independent agency, and other categories, it lists libraries and information centers by state, offering addresses, contacts, telephone numbers, and types of libraries and information centers. The document is available from GPO and at the NCES Web site. The group also reviewed and revised the third and final product, an extended analysis of selected topics, prepared by consultants, which they will publish in December 1997.

FLICC Publications and Education Office

Publications: In Fiscal Year 1997, the FLICC Publications and Education Office (FPE) supported an ambitious publications schedule with the help of a new editor-in-chief and education coordinator and the addition of a permanent writer/editor in August. During Fiscal Year 1997, FPE produced 12 issues of FEDLINK Technical Notes: October 1996 (12 pages); November 1996 (16 pages); December 1996 (16 pages); January 1997 (16 pages); February 1997 (16 pages); March 1997 (16 pages); April 1997 (12 pages); May 1997 (12 pages); June 1997 (12 pages); July 1997 (8 pages); August 1997 (16 pages); and September 1997 (12 pages); and four issues of the FLICC Quarterly Newsletter: Fall 1996 (8 pages); Winter 1997 (16 pages); Spring 1997 (8 pages); and Summer 1997 (12 pages). FPE also published a 48-page summary of the 1996 FLICC Forum, "The Public's Information: Striking a Balance Between Access and Control." FPE published expanded and enhanced materials to support the FEDLINK program including the 63-page Fiscal Year 1998 FEDLINK Registration Booklet; a 63-page update and a 175-page complete revision of the looseleaf FEDLINK Member Handbook, with index, tabs, and binder; the FLICC Bylaws; the 130-page Vendor Services Directory; 13 FEDLINK Information Alerts; and a FEDLINK new member brochure. FPE also produced the minutes of the Fiscal Year 1997 FLICC Quarterly Meetings and bimonthly FEB 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. In addition the office produced 31 FLICC Meeting Announcements to promote FLICC Education Programs, FEDLINK membership, vendor, and OCLC User Meetings, and three education institutes along with badges, programs, certificates of completion, and other supporting materials.

FPE and FNO also worked diligently throughout 1997 to revise and expand the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site. The site now contains a variety of information resources, member information, links to vendors and other members, listings of FLICC membership, access to on-line account management, event calendars, and an on-line registration system that is updated nightly. Contract and FLICC staff converted all publications, newsletters, announcements, alerts, member materials, and working group resources into HTML format, uploading current materials withing days of their being printed.

Education: In conjunction with the FLICC Education Working Group, FLICC offered a total of 31 seminars, workshops, and lunchtime discussions to 1413 members of the federal library and information center community. The Fiscal Year 1997 FLICC education schedule underscored cooperative relationships as FLICC sponsored programs with other organizations in the library, education, and association community including: CAPCON Library Network, Learning Resources Center and Library Technical Assistant Program at the College of DuPage; the metro Washington area chapters of the Special Libraries Association, the American Society for Information Science; Federal Librarians Special Interest Section of the Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C.; Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Society for Information Science; DC Library Association; and DC Online Users Group.

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; the FEDLINK Fiscal Year 1997 Vendor Briefing; and a program on How to Use FEDLINK in Fiscal Year 1998 in August 1997.

FLICC continued and expanded its videotaping of FLICC programs and, through its arrangement with the National Library of Education, made more than 30 FLICC video tapes more readily available to federal libraries through interlibrary loans.

FEDLINK (Federal Library and Information Network)

In Fiscal Year 1997, 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 technical processing services and publication, serials, electronic journals, CD-ROMs, books, and document delivery via LC/FEDLINK contracts with major vendors.

The FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC) met monthly during Fiscal Year 1997 except in November, July, and August. During the year, the FAC approved the Fiscal Year 1998 FEDLINK budget and spent several meetings interacting with representatives of Abacus Technology Corporation to develop a mission statement and a business plan for the organization.

The Fall FEDLINK Membership meeting of November 5, 1996, featured Erik Jul, Manager of Custom Services and Project Manager of the Internet Cataloging Project. He spoke on the subject of "Cataloging Internet Resources: Emerging Strategies." The FEDLINK Spring Membership meeting of May 2, 1997 centered around reviewing and discussing the proposed 1998 FLICC/FEDLINK budget. The program included a briefing on the Internet by Marie O'Mara from DTIC and reports from working group chairs and staff.

FEDLINK Network Operations -- OCLC Network Activity

During the first quarter of the fiscal year, the OCLC team briefed 55 federal librarians at the Fall OCLC Users Meeting. In addition to a review of enhancements to the online systems, cost saving opportunities in interlibrary loan, and the Users Council Update, staff outlined OCLC's plans for upgrading its telecommunications networks. On November 8, Susan Olson, OCLC Director of Network Relations, visited FEDLINK to conduct the annual review of joint activities. Claudette Watson, an OCLC staff member who helps federal libraries in their equipment and telecommunications orders and configuration changes, accompanied Olson during the review. Watson met with FEDLINK staff and visited key FEDLINK members.

Staff attended quarterly meetings at OCLC in December, March, June, and September where OCLC briefed and trained them on new services and software, such as the Interlibrary Loan MicroEnhancer for Windows. Beyond shifting software to the Windows environment, OCLC began offering TCP/IP-based telecommunications options via phone lines for those libraries where Internet access is not viable or cost effective. The OCLC team learned to install and use these new options during the second quarter and continued to inform members about the changes in newsletter articles, mailings, and phone consultations. In the second and third quarter, they cooperated with OCLC in a project to help small libraries analyze their telecom usage and migrate to the most cost effective method, which was usually the Internet. Throughout the year, staff consultations and visits to libraries often involved helping members as they ordered and installed Windows-based software and more efficient telecommunications methods. FNO developed new classes for the fourth quarter: a basic overview of Windows to complement the current Passport for Windows class and an advanced ILL class.

The Spring OCLC Users Meeting, held on May 2, included an overview of OCLC's new electronic journals program. Librarians from the National Agricultural Library and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries explained their experience as test libraries of the new e-journal interface. The 65 attendees also heard briefings by FNO staff on continuing enhancements to the OCLC systems and the status of software and telecommunications upgrades.

Outreach to members throughout the year supported effective use of OCLC in the changing environment. FEDLINK staff joined OCLC in site visits to FEDLINK member libraries throughout the year including the US Naval Academy Library, the Pentagon Library, Walter Reed Institute for Research, and the US Geological Survey Library. FNO staff helped each site analyze their current use of OCLC and plan improvements, for example in their use of FirstSearch, ILL, and cataloging work flows. FNO also worked extensively with the US Courts Library Program to extract archival OCLC records in the most effective manner for use in their new integrated library system. At the American Library Association (ALA) and Special Library Association (SLA) conferences, FEDLINK staff joined OCLC in meetings with their joint members to provide updates and assistance in planning for effective use of OCLC.

Executive Director Susan Tarr attended the quarterly meetings of the Regional OCLC Network Directors Advisory Council (RONDAC) and began a one-year term as RONDAC chair in July 1997.

FEDLINK Internet/Technology Program

In Fiscal Year 1997, FNO and FPE focused on Internet training, worked with FPE on revising and expanding the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site, and continued to guide its members on "using the Web as a tool." Staff conducted 30 Internet classes in the DC area and three in the field. FNO also participated in three special projects: 1) in April, staff provided a FEDLINK Internet Overview and Demonstration at the Law Librarians Seminar in Washington, D.C. for eighty law librarians and paraprofessionals from 73 U.S. Attorneys' offices throughout the United States and in August 1997 staff conducted more in-depth Internet training for the U.S. Attorney's non-library personnel in Florida; 2) during November 1996, staff traveled to Moscow, Russia, with three other LC staff members to train 50 Russian librarians on legislative systems on the Internet; and 3) in March, staff provided Internet training to visiting Eastern European librarians who were participating in the Soros program. Other FNO staff also made presentations at local conferences on various technology issues.

Staff collaborated with FPE on revisions of the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site including: implementation of online registration for training and educational programs; addition of a subject index for the FEDLINK Services Directory; listing of FLICC Working Group members; access to FAC minutes; creation of web versions of FLICC program materials; and conversion of many documents to HTML language, including the FEDLINK MemberHandbook.

Staff made significant progress on the Information Technology Working Group's technology survey. While they completed the content, staff arranged for LC's Information Technology Services Office to mount the survey on the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site. FNO staff also worked with the FLICC Information Technology Working Group to plan and execute the 1997 FLICC Information Technology Update, "Spinning the Intranet Web" on January 29, 1997.

Exhibits Program

FLICC/FEDLINK exhibited at four events in Fiscal Year 1997: the Online World Conference in Washington, D.C. in October 1996; the DTIC Users' Meeting in November 1996; the ALA Midwinter Conference in Washington, D.C. in February 1997; and the SLA Conference in Seattle in June 1997.

FEDLINK Training Program in Fiscal Year 1997

Staff conducted 111 OCLC, Internet, and related classes for 820 students. Of the 111 OCLC classes held, 55 were at field sites, as part of the Air Force's continuing effort to train its libraries on the Pacific Rim. FEDLINK staff conducted training sessions in Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Alaska, and Hawaii. In addition other network contract training provided through FEDLINK reached 255 members during Fiscal Year 1997: 24 by OCLC Pacific, 205 by CAPCON, 1 by MLC, and 25 by SOLINET. FNO staff also facilitated two FLICC training programs in April by making the arrangements and preparing the purchase order requests and the relevant statements of work. The two events were a position description writing workshop for federal librarians in the Norfolk area and a benchmarking workshop for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. FNO staff worked closely with working group members to sponsor the first FLICC Acquisition Institute in July 1997, the first FLICC Paraprofessional Institute in August 1997, and a four-day subject cataloging workshop in September 1997.

Procurement Services

In Fiscal Year 1997 FEDLINK wholly revised its solicitation for electronic information retrieval services to reflect the changes in the information industry. The services in this category, which include online databases, CD-ROM publications, electronic serials, gateway services, and document delivery, are used by most federal libraries and account for a large percentage of the service dollars spent through FEDLINK in Fiscal Year 1997. The revised solicitation included several firsts for FEDLINK: it specifically addressed electronic serials; it identified the federal community's preferred terms for licensing of electronic publications; it allowed vendors to offer print publications associated with their electronic offerings, thereby consolidating sources for members; and it allowed vendors to make customer-specific offerings of their electronic materials and associated research services.

Another noteworthy aspect of this year's solicitation was the way it accommodated new procurement regulations and simplified procedures mandated by the Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act (FASA) and Federal Acquisitions Reform Act (FARA). For example, FEDLINK did not issue the solicitation in paper, but made it available electronically through Internet file transfer protocol and through the FLICC web site. FEDLINK lessened the burden on vendors by allowing them to respond using standard commercial materials where appropriate. Finally, in the most cutting-edge contractual change for the procurement, FEDLINK allowed vendors to make oral presentations as part of their technical proposals. FEDLINK received and reviewed 57 proposals. Where appropriate, FEDLINK included members in the technical review, asking LC's CRS, for example, for input on the proposals from the legal database vendors.

In another significant development, FEDLINK has been working with LC's Office of General Counsel to develop a model licensing agreement for electronic databases and publications and to identify specific points for negotiation regarding the licenses offered by the largest FEDLINK vendors (Knight- Ridder Dialog, Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, Chemical Abstracts, etc.). The model licensing agreement provides baseline language that federal libraries can propose as an alternative to the standard commercial language vendors expect in the licenses. This will save individual agencies the effort of developing language to address the licencing concerns of the federal government and a library's concerns with user and site definition, access, and preservation issues.

In Fiscal Year 1997 FNO staff worked to regularize and simplify procedures for conducting competitions for individual members among the five contractors who provide copy cataloging, original cataloging, retrospective conversion, and physical processing under FEDLINK's Technical Processing Services program. Keeping in mind those libraries that have small cataloging requirements and those federal organizations that need bibliographic control but have no professional catalogers on staff, FEDLINK developed a set of standard specifications that can be used as the basis of a request for quotation on the member's requirement. FEDLINK published these standard specifications and offered instructions for conducting lowest price and best value source selection and for establishing and monitoring technical processing services accounts through FEDLINK in the FEDLINK Technical Processing Kit. In addition, FEDLINK helped the National Library of Education contract for its quarter-of-a-million-dollar project for copy cataloging, original cataloging, and retrospective conversion.

Other FEDLINK basic ordering agreements (BOAs) for serials subscription services, bibliographic utilities, interlibrary loan fee payment, copyright clearance, and training were renewed during Fiscal Year 1997. FNO staff reviewed new products and services vendors proposed adding to their BOAs, and participated in cost evaluations for renewal contracts and new products. As Contract Officer's Technical Representatives (COTRs), FNO staff followed up on the Vendor Evaluations Forms issued to customers with accounts over $100,000 to resolve any problems the customers were having.

FEDLINK Fiscal Operations

During Fiscal Year 1997, FEDLINK enjoyed its biggest year ever in terms of total service dollars spent under FEDLINK BOAs. To support this record-breaking volume, Fiscal Operations (FFO): processed 10,140 member service transaction requests for current and prior years, representing $55.4 million in current year transfer pay, $8.8 million in prior year transfer pay, $72.3 million in current year direct pay, and $100,000 in prior year direct pay service dollars, saving members more than $9 million in cost avoidance and millions more in vendor discounts; issued 54,866 invoices for payment of current and prior year orders; incurred virtually zero net interest expense for late payment of FEDLINK vendor invoices; completed Fiscal Year 1992 member service dollar refunds to close out obligations for expired appropriations; successfully passed the Library of Congress Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 1996 transactions performed by KPMG Marwick LLP; successfully completed work associated with Fiscal Year 1996 task orders for Abacus Technology Corporation to perform strategic reviews of the FEDLINK program to enhance customer service, program planning and execution; ensured that administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed program fee projections; and implemented plans to develop requirements for the successor automated financial system (SYMIN) and improve the efficiency of FEDLINK's financial processes.

FEDLINK Vendor Services

Total FEDLINK vendor service dollars for Fiscal Year 1997 alone comprised $55.4 million for transfer pay customers and $72.3 million for direct pay customers. Database retrieval services represent $15.4 million and $58.2 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 $14.0 million and $56.5 million, respectively. Publication acquisition services represent $33.5 million and $14.0 million, respectively, for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, serials subscription services comprise the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $26.1 million and $14.0 million, respectively. Library support services represent $6.4 million and $0.1 million, respectively for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, bibliographic utilities are the largest procurement representing $5.0 million and $0.1 million, respectively, for transfer pay and direct pay customers.

Accounts Receivable and Member Services

FFO accounts receivable processed Fiscal Year 1997 registrations from federal libraries, information centers and other federal offices that resulted in 744 signed Fiscal Year 1997 IAGs. In addition, FFO processed 2,932 IAG amendments (1,327 for Fiscal Year 1997 and 1,605 for prior year adjustments) for agencies that added, adjusted, or ended service funding. These IAGs and IAG amendments represented 10,140 individual service requests to begin, move, convert, or cancel service from FEDLINK vendors. FFO executed service requests by generating 9,823 delivery orders that LC/Contracts and Logistics issued to vendors. For Fiscal Year 1997 alone, FEDLINK processed approximately $55.4 million in service dollars for 2,836 transfer pay accounts and approximately $72.3 million in service dollars for 219 direct pay accounts. Included in the above member service transactions are 782 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 $3.2 million comprising 1,280 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, FFO email continued to offer FEDLINK members and vendors 24-hour access to fiscal operations. 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 2,836 accounts in Fiscal Year 1997 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

For transfer pay users, FFO issued 54,866 invoices for payment during Fiscal Year 1997 for both current and prior year orders. FFO accounts payable efficiently processed vendor invoices and earned $500 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 serials services. FFO issued 91,671 statements to members (27,158 for the current year and 64,513 for prior years) and continued to generate current fiscal year statements for 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 Fiscal Year 1992 statements in support of closing obligations for expired Fiscal Year 1992 appropriations. FFO issued quarterly statements for prior fiscal years including Fiscal Year 1993 and supported reconciliation of Fiscal Year 1993 FEDLINK vendor services accounts.

Financial Management

FFO completed all unfinished work associated with reconciling Fiscal Year 1992 vendor obligations and payments and collaborated with LC/Financial Services to refund member remaining account balances. This facilitated member agency compliance with statutory requirements for retiring obligations associated with Fiscal Year 1992 expired appropriations.

FEDLINK successfully passed the Library of Congress Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 1996 transactions done by KPMG Marwick LLP. FFO completed the limited review of FEDLINK's automated financial system for the Library of Congress financial audit. FFO invested time and effort to support the audit including: (1) financial systems briefings, (2) documented review and analysis of financial system, (3) testing and verification of account balances in the central and subsidiary financial system,(4) financial statement preparation support, (5) security briefings and reviews, and (6) research and documented responses to follow-up audit questions and findings.

Strategic Reviews

During Fiscal Year 1997, FEDLINK contracted Abacus Technology Corporation to conduct strategic reviews of the program in the following areas: program cost/benefit analysis; development of a formal five-year business plan; and program cost allocation/accounting for transfer pay and direct pay activity. FEDLINK program managers collectively reviewed and approved the Abacus reports, and some of the recommendations are scheduled for implementation in Fiscal Year 1998.

Budget and Revenue

During Fiscal Year 1997, FEDLINK ensured that administrative expenditures and obligations did not exceed the program fee projections. As Fiscal Year 1997 ended, FEDLINK service dollars and fees were approximately 1 percent above Fiscal Year 1996 levels for the same time period. FEDLINK earned 103 percent of its Fiscal Year 1997 operating budget in fee revenues from signed IAGs. The surplus was spent on high priority automation projects that the FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group and FAC approved, on behalf of the membership.

Financial Management Systems

FEDLINK carried out plans to develop requirements for a new automated financial system that would replace the current SYMIN system and improve the efficiency of FEDLINK's financial processes; with year-end funding, FLICC executed a contract with Price Waterhouse to develop a systems requirements analysis for the replacement financial system. FLICC management and systems staff actively supported automation vision development meetings using facilitative management techniques to determine the best strategy to administer this activity. FFO staff also exploited year-end funding to contract for an AMS billing automation/improvement project and a document imaging and archiving system.