2001 FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies
Introduction and Keynote Address
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The number of publicly-accessible federal Web pages now exceeds 27 million. How many of those Web pages are substantively revised or deleted every week? A thousand? A hundred thousand? How many of the changed or eliminated Web pages are maintained and preserved in their earlier editions? How much federal information was "born digital" and is only available in digital form? Are important historical and program information and research data being lost to posterity because the U.S. Federal Government swiftly embraced the digital era without sufficient focus on funding and planning the ongoing preservation of digital information? Moreover, is the "best edition" of some electronic information subject to the fortunes of a few private sector vendors? Have any agencies dealt effectively with these issues?
FLICC Forum 2001 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. From the perspective of many American government archivists and librarians, the revision of agency policies and practices on digital preservation to meet up with today's reality is long overdue.
Susan M. Tarr, Executive Director, FLICC, and Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, open the FLICC Forum and introduce Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who sets the stage by providing an informed legislator's perspective on the importance of preservation and access for federal digital information.
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