Friday 4 December 2015

GPO's new Regional Discard Policy

At the end of October, the Government Publishing Office moved forward with a new Regional Discard Policy for depository libraries. The librarians at the Free Government Info blog recently posted a lengthy discussion of the new policy, which the GPO plans to begin testing in January 2016 (and will not be fully implemented until they analyze the results).  FGI poses a number of questions about the new policy, saying that
..."there will no longer be any Regional Depositories for documents more than seven years old. It removes the requirement that there be access paper copies of all documents in the FDLP. It weakens the FDL Program by continuing the shift of responsibility away from FDLP members and toward GPO. It does not increase flexibility (as advocates of the policy claim), it shifts flexibility away from Selectives and gives it to Regionals. It puts new burdens on Selective Depositories. It establishes a new model for the preservation of paper copies of documents that is undocumented, unproven, and risky. It ignores long-term implications in favor of short-term benefits to a few large libraries. It makes GPO’s “guarantee” of long-term, free access to government information nothing more than a hollow promise."

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