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OMB highlights best practices in federal information dissemination

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Citizens' access to federal information is increasing thanks to best practices of federal depository libraries, federal-funded community technology centers, public libraries, and the National Archives and Records Administration, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

In a report to Congress, OMB detailed how the four types of entities let citizens find and use federal information. Section 213 of the E-Government Act of 2002 required OMB to document the dissemination of federal information. The report "describes online government information and services available to users of these programs, identifies promising practices at each and, where applicable, refers to completed performance evaluations," OMB said.

One best practice the report cited is federal depository libraries' use of satisfaction surveys to understand the quality and adequacy of the collections they maintain and the effectiveness of their services.

The Education Department funded 25 community technology centers in 16 states with $9 million, the report said, improving access to learning for high-school students in state-of-the-art laboratories.

The report found that 96 percent of public libraries, which reach about 99 percent of the U.S. population, have Internet access, 44 percent with high-speed connections.

Finally, the report said NARA maintains relationships with state archives, historical societies, federal agencies and other organizations to preserve, manage and provide access to federal records.

The collaboration "will allow federal agencies to more effectively meet their information resource management program goals and consequently their agency strategic goals," the report noted.

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