ABSTRACT and CONTENTS page.
DRAFT as returned to Government Information Quarterly, May 26, 1995: Version 8.
"Reinventing (Open) Government: State and Federal Trends."
Government Information Quarterly, 12(4):427-455 (Fall 1995).
Jeremy R. T. Lewis
PhD, MA, Johns Hopkins University
MA, BA, Oxford University
Associate Professor of Political Science
Huntingdon College, 1500 East Fairview Ave,
Montgomery AL 36106
Federal open records laws, executive orders on national security classification, and similar policy instruments in the states require that most records at government agencies be available to the public upon request -- subject to exemptions which may entail review. Traditionally this review has been accomplished by redaction (purging) of hardcopy. Resource limitations and increases in the number of requests demand a re-thinking of the process. Offices are experimenting with optical scanning, onscreen purging, and online dissemination. Statutory and common law trends may soon require disclosure of database reports in electronic form, when so requested, rather than printouts. The dissemination of manipulable data of commercial value requires a rationale broader than the "citizenship rights" that justified the Freedom of Information Act. Online publication of agency controlled records also demands careful planning of information systems and public networks. The issues discussed in this article are central to the establishment of an adequate policy for electronic freedom of information.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF ‘ELECTRONIC’ RECORDS
Purpose and Scope of the FOIA.
Definition of Agency Records.
Database Protection Issues.
STATE GOVERNMENT TRENDS IN PUBLIC INFORMATION
Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues
Public-Private Articulation Issues
Personal Privacy Issues
New Information System Design
TOWARDS ELECTRONIC FOIA PROCESSING
Changes Needed in Government Information Procedures.
Costs and Benefits of Online FOIA Processing
Obstacles to Digital FOIA Processing Systems
NASCENT FEDERAL ONLINE PUBLIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Interagency Declassification Review: Planning a System -- (b)(1)
Online Publication in Federal Register -- (a)(1)
Online Public Inspection and Copying -- (a)(2)
Securities and Exchange Commission: Edgar database -- (a)(2)
Onscreen Redaction of Requested Documents -- (a)(3)
State Department: Redac and Inform Systems -- (a)(3) & (a)(2)
Social Security’s Correspondence System -- (a)(3)
Justice Department: Juris Database -- (a)(3)
NOTES AND REFERENCES