Author Topic: No joke: 'Let me Google that for you act' introduced in Congress  (Read 226 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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No Joke: 'Let Me Google That For You Act' Introduced in Congress

"To streamline the collection and distribution of government information"

 Trey Sanchez |

On April 3, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) along with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the "Let Me Google That For You Act" before Congress which purposes to use a free Google search to find out information rather than spend taxpayer dollars to purchase reports from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).

The bill states its underlying purpose:
“No Federal agency should use taxpayer dollars to purchase a report from the National Technical Information Service that is available through the Internet for free.

The NTIS, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Library of Congress appear in the bill's "Findings" and are noted as responsible for collecting, categorizing, and distributing government information.  It is also noted that the NTIS was established more than 40 years before the Internet. The information that is gathered by these different agencies include government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information and reports -- all of which can now be found through a simple Google search, making the NTIS obsolete.

Essentially, the government has realized that it is wasting money and so the bill was drafted. The bill cites a 2012 GAO report showing that the NTIS lost $1.3 million in revenue over the last 11 years -- calling into question the viability of the NTIS. The bill also references a 1999 report that even then was predicting that the NTIS "would eventually outlive its usefulness and be unable to sustain its revenue-losing profit model."

Lines 9 and 10 of the bill state:
“(9) NTIS has compensated for its lost revenue by charging other Federal agencies for various services that are not associated with NTIS's primary mission.

 (10) Future technological advances will ensure that the services offered by NTIS are even more superfluous for essential government functions than they are today.

The bill seeks to repeal the National Technical Information Act of 1988 and eventually "terminate" the agency.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 06:15:05 AM by rangerrebew »
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Offline EC

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Re: No joke: 'Let me Google that for you act' introduced in Congress
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 06:29:07 AM »
Sorry - this is one area where I strongly disagree.

Archiving is vital to civilization and is one of the very few aspects of government worth preserving. Yes, it costs. Not doing it costs more.
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