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Sharing Information book cover
Government enterprises face many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives. Regardless of the size and complexity of these initiatives, they are all made less challenging when participating organizations have a joint action plan that outlines what information sharing is necessary to be successful and what investments in capability must be made to close the gaps between capability required and capability available. Decisions to invest in information-sharing initiatives must be grounded in such an action plan. This toolkit is designed for government professionals tasked with planning and implementing initiatives that rely on effective information-sharing. It provides a process for assessing where capabilities for information-sharing exist and where they must be developed to achieve targeted goals. Assessment results provide a basis for action planning to fill capability gaps.

Government enterprises face many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives. Regardless of the size and complexity of these initiatives, they are all made less challenging when participating organizations have a joint action plan that outlines what information sharing is necessary to be successful and what investments in capability must be made to close the gaps between capability required and capability available. Decisions to invest in information-sharing initiatives must be grounded in such an action plan. This toolkit is designed for government professionals tasked with planning and implementing initiatives that rely on effective information-sharing. It provides a process for assessing where capabilities for information-sharing exist and where they must be developed to achieve targeted goals. Assessment results provide a basis for action planning to fill capability gaps.

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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.

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.

Government faces many challenges that can be addressed more successfully when information is shared across organizational boundaries. Initiatives that depend on these kinds of information sharing are typically complex, difficult, and prone to failure. They are more likely to succeed when they include a comprehensive and systematic assessment of both organizational and technical information sharing capabilities.

Government faces many challenges that can be addressed more successfully when information is shared across organizational boundaries. These challenges differ widely in scope and complexity. One may involve linking the different databases and case management processes in a single human services agency where organizational units operate under one executive leader, working toward a common goal. Another challenge may involve enterprise-level initiatives, such as a statewide crime communications network, consisting of many different agencies at several levels of government engaged in diverse but overlapping business processes using similar, if not identical, information. Some challenges, such as emergency response, are so extensive that they require information sharing and work processes that cross the boundaries of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Initiatives that depend on these kinds of information sharing are typically complex, difficult, and prone to failure. They are more likely to succeed when they include a comprehensive and systematic assessment of both organizational and technical information sharing capabilities. Such an assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses of all participants, points out risks and risk mitigation strategies, and therefore leads to better planning and execution of cross-boundary programs and services.

The justice enterprise faces many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives.This toolkit is designed for justice professionals to use when considering or planning for a justice information-sharing initiative.

The justice enterprise faces many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives. These challenges differ widely in their scope and complexity. Regardless of their size, all these initiatives are made less difficult when participating organizations have high levels of information-sharing capability. Therefore, decisions to invest in informationsharing initiatives must be grounded in a full understanding of the ability of those involved to identify and fill the gaps between current and required capability.

This toolkit is designed for justice professionals to use when considering or planning for a justice information-sharing initiative. It provides a process for assessing where capability for informationsharing exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve public safety goals. Assessment results provide a basis for action planning to fill capability gaps both within and across organizations.

This is a self-assessment tool, based on the idea that the persons involved in an information-sharing initiative are best equipped, by their knowledge and experience, to make judgments and supply evidence about these capabilities. The toolkit was designed to facilitate discussion within individual organizations as well as across organizations involved in an information-sharing initiative.

Decisions to invest in digital preservation projects must be grounded in a full understanding of the ability of those involved to identify and fill the gaps between current and required capability. This toolkit is designed for library, archives, records management, and information technology professionals to assess where capability for digital preservation exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve the goal of preserving significant at-risk government information.

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.

IT innovation is risky business in every organization. In the complex public sector environment, these risks are even greater. This handbook is designed to help any government manager evaluate IT innovations before deciding (with greater confidence) to make a significant investment.

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.

Most organizations are increasingly managing work and making decisions based on electronic information. This guide provides the tools that were developed to help information and program managers integrate essential records management requirements into the design of new information systems.

Most organizations are increasingly managing work, and making decisions using electronic information. Organizations need electronic records that are reliable, authentic, usable, and accessible. But with the shift from paper to digital information, many organizations find that their current electronic records are insufficient to support their business needs, or that they are in danger of losing access to those records.

This guide was designed to help information and program managers integrate essential records management requirements into the design of new information systems. It details techniques that seamlessly integrate into the system design process, and result in the identification of technology specifications and opportunities for improving performance through improved access to records. The guide came out of the Models for Action: Practical Approaches to Electronic Records Management and Preservation project that CTG conducted with the New York State Archives and Records Administration, which was funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

In order to design sound electronic recordkeeping practices within an organization, the necessary requirements must be identified and understood. This paper presents the two components of a tool that can help organizations complete that work.

This document describes the Records Requirements Analysis and Implementation Tool (RRAIT), one of the key products developed for the Models for Action project. The RRAIT is a practical tool that is made up of two components: the Records Requirements Elicitation Component (RREC) and the Records Requirements Implementation Component (RRIC). The former is used to define organizational recordkeeping requirements and the latter is used to identify mechanisms for implementing those requirements. This paper examines the makeup of these tools and explores how the two are used in conjunction with each other to define and implement policy, management, and technology mechanisms to implement sound electronic recordkeeping practices within an organization.

Online Resources (1)
Opening Gateways book cover
The online workbench is provided as a companion piece to Opening Gateways: A Practical Guide for Designing Electronic Records Access Programs. It is an interactive version of the Guide enhanced with features that support groups of people as they collaborate on the development of electronic records programs.

The growing demand for information to be available in electronic form and for direct access to this information is changing the design and management of electronic information access programs. Programs are:

  • Increasingly focused on electronic rather than paper as the format desired by users.
  • Shifting from staff-supported access models to direct-user access models, now made possible over the Web.
Making a successful transition to increasingly user- and usage-focused programs requires careful assessment of any desired program in terms of:
  • the users
  • the uses
  • the content
  • the operation
  • the cost of a desired program.
This shift often requires program managers; the content experts, to join traditional information access professionals in a new way of working.

The Opening Gateways Guide and Workbench support this new way of working; they guide program managers and information access professionals in the creation of electronic information access programs that are effective, manageable, and affordable. They provide a framework for a design team to account for the specifics of the environment within which a program will exist.

Taking the environment into account in the design of electronic information access programs is a human process. The Gateways Guide and Workbench are not intended to replace that process, but to support it through a cycle of individual effort, group discussion, and integration of the best ideas from the group. This process depends on project managers who are skilled at cultivating individual commitment and group process and participants who have a stake in the outcome. The Workbench supports this process by organizing and sharing the information needed to reach a sound design. Together, the Guide and the Workbench provide a process and an analytical framework to ensure that a design team is able to focus on the complexity of information access program design.

The Opening Gateways Guide is a paper and a web based document that presents a strategy for designing electronic information access programs. The Guide presents a set of analytical tools to help groups of people as they collaborate on the design of electronic records access programs.

The Gateways Online Workbench is provided as a companion piece to the Guide. It is an interactive version of the Guide enhanced with features that support groups of people as they collaborate on the development of electronic information access programs. The Workbench design supports this group process by allowing multiple users to capture individual ideas and to contribute to group efforts through the Workbench’s collaboration features.

Reports and Working Papers (18)
New York State Information Technology Workforce Skills Assessment Statewide Survey Results book cover
Information technology (IT) workforce issues have been a concern in New York State since the 1980s and were designated high priority areas in the 2004 and 2005 New York State Enterprise Information Technology Strategic Plans. As a result, in early 2005, the CIO Council HR Committee organized a partnership of state agencies, labor unions, and the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) to help design and administer two surveys. This report provides the key findings of the IT workforce skills assessment surveys administered during March and April 2006; involving nearly 5,000 IT professionals employed in state agencies, authorities, and boards.

Information technology (IT) workforce issues have been a concern in New York State since the 1980s and were designated high priority areas in the 2004 and 2005 New York State Enterprise Information Technology Strategic Plans. As a result, in early 2005, the CIO Council HR Committee organized a partnership of state agencies, labor unions, and the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) to help design and administer two surveys. This report provides the key findings of the IT workforce skills assessment surveys administered during March and April 2006; involving nearly 5,000 IT professionals employed in state agencies, authorities, and boards.

The goal of this assessment is to gather information to help New York State better meet the training and development needs of its IT professionals, and to identify future needs for IT skills. As a result, the State CIO Council Human Resources Committee and its subgroups generated recommendations for next steps and action plans to enhance professional development and skill proficiency for the entire IT workforce.

This report provides a baseline for state government digital information preservation capabilities and activities. It includes an analysis of the results across states and territories and presents several observations on the current digital preservation environment based on CTG’s 2006 State Government Digital Information Preservation Survey.

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.

This Web-based resource provides profiles of state government digital information preservation efforts within the United States based on the information collected from the 2006 State Government Digital Information Preservation Survey. The profiles are organized by state or territory and the library, archives, and records management units that were represented in the survey response.

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 current practices research report identifies and describes exemplary practices in providing electronic access to information.

This current practices research report identifies and describes exemplary practices in providing electronic access to information. It includes an examination of the professional academic literature, a review of Web-based resources, and a study of best practices in selected organizations.

Bringing an array of geographic information into a central system provides increased value to users, but coordinating that presents considerable challenges. This report describes how the New York State GIS Coordination Program was initiated and developed. It looks at the problems encountered and solutions tried, and focuses on data sharing and public-private sector partnerships.

The NYS Geographic Information System (GIS) Coordination Program was designed and implemented through the collaboration of governments and private entities throughout the State. This case study presents this innovative initiative as a model for data sharing and public-private sector partnerships. The report describes in detail how the GIS Coordination Program was initiated and developed, looking at the role of the different collaborators as well as the problems encountered and solutions tried. An evaluation of the costs and benefits of the project is also included, as well as a reflection on the remaining problems that need to be tackled in the coming years.

In an environment where business is increasingly conducted electronically, the management of electronic records is crucial. This report describes tools that help incorporate electronic records requirements into the design of new information systems.

In an environment where business is increasingly conducted electronically, systematic processes for electronic records management and preservation are crucial. Without question, organizations need electronic records that are reliable and authentic; usable for multiple purposes, and accessible over time for both business and secondary uses. This report presents a set of tools that incorporate essential electronic records requirements into the design of new information systems. Moreover, the practical tools seek to bridge the gap between records management theory and practice by linking an organization's business objectives to its records management processes.

The project, conducted with the New York State Archives, and carried out with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and several corporate and academic partners, also produced a prototype that is a network-based integrated document management and workflow system, capable of supporting a fully electronic record, and is also capable of accessing, analyzing, and capturing information from the APA's Geographic Information System (GIS), and archiving the project record.

The functional requirements of records include the reliability of the system in which the records reside, how the records are captured, and how they are maintained. This paper discusses the background, development, and usage of the functional requirements in CTG's Models for Action project.

This document introduces one of the foundations for the Models for Action project, the functional requirements to ensure the creation, maintenance, and preservation of electronic records. These requirements outline a set of cues and questions that facilitate the identification of technology, management, and policy strategies that can be used to implement sound electronic recordkeeping practices within an organization. This paper discusses the background, development, and usage of the functional requirements.

There are many different methods and techniques used to direct the life cycle of a software development project. This document provides an overview of common models that are used to guide the analysis, design, development, and maintenance of information systems.

This document provides an overview of common system development process models, used to guide the analysis, design, development, and maintenance of information systems. There are many different methods and techniques used to direct the life cycle of a software development project and most real-world models are customized adaptations of the generic models. While each model is designed for a specific purpose or reason, most have similar goals and share many common tasks. This research paper explores the similarities and differences among these various models and will also discuss how different approaches are chosen and combined to address practical situations.

With many different workflow management software solutions on the market, a variety of approaches to workflow management exist. This paper provides an introduction to Workflow Management Systems through a two-tiered approach: a functional review and a technical overview.

With many different workflow management software solutions on the market, a variety of approaches to workflow management exist. This paper provides an introduction to Workflow Management Systems. Through a two-tiered approach, the reader is first exposed to a functional review of workflow systems, including definitions, typical features, benefits, tradeoffs, process selection, and success factors for implementation, followed by a technical overview that describes a method for categorizing workflow products, the state of the market, and emerging standards.

Knowing the key concepts of electronic recordkeeping is essential as agencies move from a largely paper-based business process to an electronic system. The report covers those key concepts.

As the public sector moves from working in a largely paper-based environment to one in which government agencies offer more and more information and services electronically, a number of new issues and concepts arise.

This report presents the results of a review of technology standards, government policies, legal principals, and best practices for electronic recordkeeping in government. This review was conducted in April 1996 to understand the key issues a CTG team expected to encounter during the design and development of a prototype for the New York State Adirondack Park Agency. This report outlines the results of that survey and is intended to serve as an introduction to key concepts and to guide the associated choices that APA is expected to face as they move from a largely paper-based business process to a networked document management and workflow system.

Substantial opportunity exists to share spatial data, knowledge, and other resources across programs in the public and private sectors. This report discusses the mechanisms for evaluating public sector geographic information systems (GIS).

Substantial opportunity exists to share spatial data, knowledge, and other resources across programs in the public and private sectors. This report is a discussion of the mechanisms for evaluating public sector geographic information systems (GIS). It presents strategies for quantifying potential system benefits, and it shows what opportunities exist for containing costs and maximizing the benefits of GIS implementation. The role of partnerships and information sharing is stressed in the context of maximizing the value of GIS in public organizations.

The information needed to review a building permit application in New York's Adirondack Park comes from a range of sources. This report describes the work undertaken to develop and evaluate a prototype system to combine document records and geographic data into a unified “electronic reference desk".

New York's 6 million acre Adirondack Park encompasses 12 counties and 105 towns in upstate New York. Its mission is to maintain the delicate balance between environmental quality and economic vitality in the region. The APA maintains tens of thousands of records about real property, physical and civil infrastructure, and natural resources. Organizing, finding, and using effectively so many different kinds of information had become a critical problem for both the agency and its customers.

During 1994-95, CTG worked with APA and several corporate and university partners to develop and evaluate a prototype system to combine document records and geographic data into a unified system. The resulting “electronic reference desk" allows agency staff to point at a land parcel displayed on an electronic map and summon legal documents, other maps, project plans and related information about the property.

This report provides an overview of the partnership project, presents the results of the prototype, and discusses how the work can benefit others considering similar initiatives.

Coordinating geographic information collected by different agencies and local governments can help promote three program areas of vital importance in New York State: economic development, environmental conservation, and public health and safety.

One of the underlying assumptions of the NYS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Cooperative project is that GIS is a valuable public management tool, whose benefits could be enhanced through increased coordination. This project sought to identify the value of geographic information systems and spatial data in the public sector, as well as to examine mechanisms and opportunities for leveraging the benefits and minimizing costs. This value can be seen across a broad array of program areas. This report demonstrates the value that GIS can add to three programmatic areas of vital importance to New York State: economic development, environmental conservation, and public health and safety.

The New York State Geographic Information System (GIS) Clearinghouse Cooperative project was undertaken to show the extent to which spatial data needs overlap among key policy and applications areas. This report demonstrates how data sharing strategies can reduce the cost and increase the value of GIS.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offer unique opportunities to analyze and compare disparate types of information. They are opening up new opportunities to deliver both information and services. The value of GIS and spatial data can be seen most dramatically in applications that promote economic development, public health and safety, and environmental quality.

The New York State GIS Cooperative project, initiated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, demonstrated the depth and variety of existing human, technical, and data resources in the state. This report presents the results of that project. It shows the extent to which spatial data needs overlap among key policy and applications areas. It examines how data sharing strategies can reduce the cost and increase the value of GIS.

Developing the New York State (NYS) Geographic Information System (GIS) Clearinghouse prototype required the adoption of standards and an effective search mechanism. This report presents how these were implemented in the NYS GIS Clearinghouse project.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation initiated the NYS Spatial Data Clearinghouse project, and the Center for Technology in Government directed the development of the GIS Clearinghouse prototype. As many as 450 state and county government officials as well as ten corporate partners cooperated in the design and implementation of the online clearinghouse of meta data and spatial data sets. The prototype NYS Clearinghouse provides a mechanism for potential users of NYS spatial data to determine whether data sets they need are already available or under development.

This technical report outlines the development of the prototype, the adoption of the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s meta data content standard, and the search mechanism used for retrieving data. The report also documents hardware and software choices made for implementation of the World Wide Web site.

This report covers the findings from an evaluation of a prototype map retrieval system developed for the Adirondack Park Agency. Recommendations for a future system development strategy are included.

This report covers the findings from an evaluation of a prototype map retrieval system developed for the Adirondack Park Agency. The report reviews data needs and data availability to inform a data development strategy for the future. It also presents an analysis of the costs and benefits which can be expected from implementation of a full system to support APA operations. Finally, the report discusses the potential improvements in internal operations, intergovernmental relations, and innovative initiatives that could be supported by an integrated information system. Recommendations for a future system development strategy are included.

Building an electronic reference desk that integrated government records and geographic information relied on a number of technical components. This report presents the technical results responsible for the development of that system.

The Center for Technology in Government worked with the Adirondack Park Agency to develop a prototype system that combines document records and geographic data into a unified workstation or “electronic reference desk.” This report presents the findings of the technical staff responsible for developing the prototype system. It covers the gathering of geographic data and the development of the database as well as the data conversion process. Hardware and software configurations are included, as well as lessons learned from the process and recommendations for other GIS system developers.

Paperwork. Few words evoke such a negative picture of government operations. This report presents the results of a prototyping project that demonstrated document imaging and work flow solutions in the vehicle title operation at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Paperwork. Few words evoke such a negative picture of government operations. Yet government is an information-intensive enterprise with a legal obligation to create and maintain huge volumes of public records. The paperwork problem exists in part because these records are caught up in processes that are antiquated, slow, error prone, and expensive. Document imaging and workflow management systems merge several technologies to convert paper documents to electronic images. However, they are expensive to implement and nearly always require extensive analysis, business process reengineering, and organizational change.

This report presents the results of a prototyping project that demonstrated document imaging and workflow solutions in the vehicle title operation at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The process of building the prototype answered a range of critical technical, managerial, and organizational questions.

Journal Articles and Conference Papers (3)
DGO Proceedings Cover
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.

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.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used by government, researchers, and businesses to support a wide range of activities. This article documents the implementation of an Internet-based GIS Clearinghouse in New York State, and highlights the role of the State Library as a critical implementer and value-added facilitator.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used by government, researchers and businesses in a wide range of domains including economic development, environmental management, education, health, human services, infrastructure management, and disaster response. Most experts agree that the most expensive part of a GIS program is the creation of spatial data. Some estimate that as much as 80 percent of the cost of any application is attributable to the expenses of acquiring and geo-coding information (Thapa and Bosler, 1992). Often the information needs of different GIS applications overlap and data created by one organization can be used by others. Data sharing can therefore help reduce costs of GIS application development and yield considerable benefits and efficiencies.

To achieve this purpose, the State of New York has implemented a GIS Coordination Program which features an Internet-based GIS Clearinghouse operated by the New York State Library (Dawes and Eglene, 1998). In this program, the Library acts as a critical implementer and value-added facilitator of an important new state information policy that has influence over spatial data development, exchange, and use at all levels of government and in the private and not-for-profit sectors. The Clearinghouse provides the conceptual framework and operational platform for a fully functioning data cooperative which is the heart of the New York State GIS Data Sharing Policy. The Library-based Clearinghouse has become the essential portal to many newly identified information resources. It organizes the data descriptions, provides a publicly available and easy-to-use means of access, promotes sharing, points the way to education and other services, and generally makes possible the vision of a living data resource.

Organizations often lack adequate tools to manage the growing number and variety of electronic records. This article presents a set of practical tools that can help government agencies manage the records that are electronically created, maintained, and accessed.

Organizations often lack adequate tools to manage the growing number and variety of electronic records. Some are in danger of losing access to records stored in personal computers, e-mail boxes or personal local area network (LAN) directories. Others face the problem of linking documents created in different forms and formats to business transactions. Many organizations are finding that their electronic records do not meet their organization's evidentiary needs.

This article discusses the Models for Action Project, which is focused on the development of practical tools to support incorporating electronic records management capacity in the design of new information systems. The project is being conducted by the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at the Albany, in partnership with the New York State Archives and Records Administration. The project seeks to develop and promote practical tools that will assist organizations, particularly state and local government agencies, in addressing electronic records management and archival requirements as they develop networked computing and communications applications.

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