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Issue Briefs (1)
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All signs point to continued growth in the volume and complexity of “born digital” government information. However, most states are hampered in their efforts to respond to this growth by a combination of technology, policy, political, and management issues, complicated by fragmented organizational roles and responsibilities for managing and preserving digital information. While traditional information and records custodians agree that not all digital information produced by government is worth saving, all agree that a small portion of this material is of permanent legal, legislative, or cultural value. In addition, a much larger portion has short and medium term value to CIOs, state and local agencies, the private sector, and citizens for purposes of e-government, e-commerce, and day-to-day government administration. To address these challenges, traditional information and records custodians and other key stakeholders, such as chief information officers (CIOs), need to reorient strategies toward sharing information and assets and understanding common- alities rather than emphasizing differences. It is time to move beyond debates over terminology and start treating digital information as a “public asset” with multiple values to both government and society.

Practical Guides (3)
Opening Gateways book cover
This Guide was originally published under the title of Opening Gateways: A Practical Guide for Designing Electronic Records Access Programs in 2000 and revised in 2002. Since it was issued, technological advances have given us a much broader array of tools and approaches to providing access to information. These advances have created a broader and in some ways more sophisticated community of potential users and stakeholders whose expectations of ease of access and immediacy of information have grown exponentially. These changes, combined with a social and political environment that demands public sector entities be more open and transparent in their operations, have put increased pressures on government to provide access to more and better information through readily accessible means such as the Internet.

This guide is designed to help government agencies develop affordable, manageable, and effective information access programs. Given the changing technological and social environment, the type of planning processes facilitated by this Guide are more relevant than ever. The revisions have focused on updating many of the examples provided and language used as well as including an expanded discussion of program models available due to technological advances.

State and local governments are creating vast amounts of information solely in digital form, including land data, school records, official publications and court records. Much of this material is of permanent value, yet is at risk because of fragile media, technological obsolescence, or other hazards. State libraries and state archives typically have broad responsibility for preserving and providing public access to state and local government information of enduring value, but many other agencies also play critical roles in managing and preserving digital information.

States vary greatly in the work already undertaken on behalf of digital preservation, as well as in the resources available for the task. The degree and focus of leadership for digital preservation varies from state to state, as do the specific priorities for immediate preservation attention. This variation comes in part because there is currently no consensus view about how states (or other organizations) should go about doing digital preservation. The challenge is both so new and so large that everyone is still trying to determine the best methods.

This toolkit is designed for library, archives, records management, and information technology professionals to use when considering or planning for a digital preservation initiative. It provides a process for assessing where capability for digital preservation exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve the goal of preserving significant and at risk government information.

The toolkit is presented in four chapters as well as a comprehensive set of worksheets and related materials. Chapters 1-4 and Appendices 1-8 are available for download in PDF. Note: In order to help users of the toolkit compile multiple capability assessment ratings electronically, Appendix 8. Dimension Worksheets is provided also as a separate Microsoft Word document.

Why evaluate information technology (IT) choices? Because IT innovation is risky business in every organization. The public policy choices and public management processes that are part of government make it an especially difficult environment for IT managers. These layers of complexity present a daunting challenge to public managers who are responsible for choosing, funding, and building IT innovations.

Government managers need to evaluate IT choices because they are among the most complex and expensive decisions they are expected to make.

There are three ways to mitigate the risks inherent in these complex decisions: thoroughly understand the problem to be solved and its context, identify and test possible solutions to the problem, evaluate the results of those tests against your service and performance goals. This handbook is designed to help any government manager follow a well-tested methodology for evaluating IT innovations before deciding (with greater confidence) to make a significant investment.

Reports (5)
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Increasingly, state governments are moving toward making primary legal materials available online via state government websites. The goal in these efforts, and also the challenge, is to provide users with more efficient access while ensuring that the electronic versions of primary legal materials are as “official” as their paper originals. The desire of state governments to make this a priority is strong. However, they currently lack the necessary policies and management practices necessary for success. State legislators and their staffs, legislative reference librarians, state archivists, and chief information officers all have important roles to play in laying the foundation for these efforts through the creation of new policy, management, and technology capabilities. This brief provides background to the recently approved Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), explores the concepts behind authenticated electronic materials, defines what it will take to create, maintain, and make available official electronic legal material, and provides recommendations for states.

This document reports on a project conducted by CTG on behalf of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYS DOCS) to explore the likely benefits and associated costs of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) for NYS DOCS. The project, moving towards an electronic health record for NYS DOCS, was initiated in the summer of 2005 by the former New York State Department of Correctional Services Commissioner, Glenn Goord.

The project report outlines the source of many of the environmental and organizational challenges facing NYS DOCS in the transition to an EHR. The benefits of an EHR both generally and in a correctional context are introduced together with barriers to implementation at NYS DOCS found in the environmental analysis. In addition, a set of recommendations was designed to assist NYS DOCS in their efforts to fully realize the benefits of an EHR as well as a brief discussion of related cost estimation issues. Since the release of the report, NYS DOCs has taken positive developments towards their goal, an update of which is now included in the report.

Partnerships have emerged as the most viable strategy for securing the resources necessary for preserving state government digital information. Whether these partnerships span units within a single agency or multiple state and local governments and in some cases the federal government, their development requires knowledge of capabilities and priorities to be shared among potential partners. This report provides the baseline knowledge necessary to launch these critical partnership development efforts. Baseline data on state government digital information preservation capabilities and activities was collected in five key areas:
  1. Institutional Roles and Responsibilities
  2. State Government Digital Information Preservation Activities
  3. Training Needs for Digital Preservation
  4. State Government Digital Information Currently At-Risk
  5. Engagement with Enterprise Architecture
Six observations about the challenges facing state government digital preservation initiatives emerged from the baseline data:
  1. Capability for preserving state government digital information is low.
  2. There is no consistent approach to addressing “at-risk” information.
  3. Authority for setting standards and responsibility for providing digital preservation services is dispersed.
  4. Executive, legislative, and judicial agencies operate parallel digital preservation efforts.
  5. Digital preservation and Enterprise Architecture initiatives are not well-connected.
  6. Efforts to develop strategic digital preservation programs are hampered by problem focused practices and funding and staffing models.
A complementary resource to this baseline reports enables you to review the individual profiles from the responding units within the states/territories.
>> State Government Digital Preservation Profiles.

State libraries and archives have traditionally managed, preserved, and provided access to significant government information in paper and other traditional formats. More and more, however, this information is created in digital form. Much of it has short-term value, but a considerable fraction must remain available for many years, in some cases, permanently. Unfortunately, states are finding their current preservation capabilities do not extend from paper to digital formats. All signs point to continued growth in the volume and complexity of this information yet library, archives and records management professionals are hampered in their efforts to respond to this growth by a host of resource gaps. These gaps include a lack of comprehensive program strategies, personnel and funding as well as a lack of technology infrastructure and appropriate and sufficient skills.

This report presents the findings of a reconnaissance study on the use of parcel data in New York State. It documents the current and potential uses of parcel data, its value to many different kinds of organizations, and the typical flow of data across government and non-governmental boundaries.

Journal Articles and Conference Papers (2)
HICSS Proceedings Cover
Sharon S. Dawes, Meghan E. Cook, and Natalie Helbig
Proceedings of the Thirty-Ninth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (CD/ROM), January 4-7,2006, Computer Society Press, Tue, 31 Jan 2006, Ten pages >Download PDF
Land parcels are the foundation for many aspects of public and community life. This report presents the findings of a study of information about land parcels in New York State. It identifies stakeholders and their interests as well as the needs and issues associated with the uses of parcel data in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

We describe the attributes of parcel data, discuss its value to a variety of stakeholders, present typical data flows across organizational boundaries, and illustrate a wide range of uses. We then present the main issues and policy challenges associated with treating parcel data as a collective public resource, and conclude with a set of policy principles for guiding future investments.

©2006 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

Hyuckbin Kwon, Theresa A. Pardo, and G. Brian Burke
Proceedings of the 7th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, USA, 277-284, Mon, 02 Jan 2006, Eight pages >Download PDF
Based on the findings of 2005 Library of Congress workshops and previous efforts on digital preservation, this paper discusses the challenges and opportunities regarding interorganizational collaboration and community building for digital preservation of state government information.

Other Results

Digital Archiving: From Fragmentation to Collaboration

Report and press release from the June 2006 National Association of Secretaries of State and National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council (eC3) symposium on state government archiving of digital information. CTG staff organized and facilitated the day and a half symposium session with secretaries of state, state archivists, state librarians, IT solutions vendors and others interested in the issue of digital archiving. Also, CTG wrote the symposium report, which CTG presented at the December 2006 annual eC3 conference in Sacramento, California.


Partnering for Preservation

Can governments come up with plans to preserve digital information for future generations? Yes, but CIOs must be on board to make it happen. > Download Article
By Theresa A. Pardo and Brian Burke
Public CIO Magazine
April-May 2006 Issue


Preservation of State Government Digital Information: Issues and Opportunities

Report of the Library of Congress Convening Workshops with States
2005 > Download PDF
The Library of Congress convened three workshops with representatives from all 50 states during 2005 to listen and learn about how states are coping with the digital preservation challenge. CTG staff played a key role in planning, facilitating, and analyzing the results of the workshops. Findings from the workshops are outlined in this report.


Regulatory Impacts on E-Records Management Decisions

Prepared by the NECCC Records Management Workgroup
As part of CTG’s project with the Library of Congress, CTG staff participated in the NECCC Records Management Workgroup and contributed to this paper. This NECCC workgroup paper seeks to describe and discuss the impact on state and local public agencies of the unintended results created by new regulations and changes in regulatory assignments by the federal government. Several case studies are highlighted to show what jurisdictions are doing to solve this issue.