HJR 6: Joint Subcommittee Studying Electronic Records and their impact
on the VA Public Records Act and the State Publications Depository Program
July 29, 2005
The Joint Subcommittee
Studying Electronic Records and their impact on the Virginia Public Records
Act and the State Publications Depository Program (HJ 6) met on July 29,
AND REPORT RELATING TO THE STATE PUBLICATIONS
In the morning, a
workgroup of the joint subcommittee met to prepare a proposal relating
to the State Publications Depository Program. Delegate Ryan McDougle,
Bill Wilson, Valerie Jean Mayo, and Conley Edwards had been appointed
to serve on the workgroup. In addition, representatives from the Library
of Virginia (the Library), the Depository Library System, the press, and
state and local agencies attended and participated in the workgroup discussions.
At the first meeting
of the year, the joint subcommittee had decided that the various statutory
provisions relating to the Depository Program should be gathered into
one chapter in Title 42.1 and that the new chapter should include a statement
of policy and intent for the program. The joint subcommittee identified
several other issues for the workgroup's consideration, such as amending
the definition of a publication to include electronic publications, deciding
whether localities should be required to send publications to the depository
libraries, and considering if there should be any penalty for state agencies
that do not send publications to the Library.
The workgroup developed
a draft of the State Publications Depository Program to propose to the
joint subcommittee. The recommendations included defining "publication"
to include all documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics,
created for research or informational use by the public. The workgroup
decided to require that state agencies send copies of all of its publications
to the Library and that local and regional agencies should only be required
to send copies of specific publications upon request. To encourage compliance,
the workgroup recommended a new reporting requirement, under which the
Library would annually report to the Governor and the chairmen of the
House and Senate General Laws, House Appropriations, and Senate Finance
those agencies who do not send the required publications to the Library.
Finally, the workgroup recommended repealing the requirement that the
Library compile an annual listing of publications printed by each agency
during the last fiscal year. Discussion indicated that this effort was
duplicative of the requirement that the Library publish a catalog of publications.
The Library reported that it had only received two requests for this information
over the last ten years. The workgroup left open for the joint subcommittee's
consideration whether a definition of a "depository library"
should be included in the proposal. The workgroup felt that this was a
policy decision, as the role and number of the depository libraries may
change as more publications are available electronically.
The joint subcommittee
adopted the workgroup's proposal in concept and recommended to not include
a specific definition of a "depository library." The committee
briefly discussed whether language should also be included to underscore
that the Depository Program was not meant in anyway to undermine what
records are available for public inspection and copying under the Virginia
Freedom of Information Act. The joint subcommittee instructed staff to
prepare a final version of the proposal for review before the next joint
subcommittee meeting. A copy of the proposal is available on the study
webpage at http://dls.state.va.us/PRA.htm.
ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT
The joint subcommittee
next received a presentation on available technology for electronic records
management and archiving from Andy Sitison, Managing Consultant for ILM/Compliance
with EMC Corporation. EMC currently works with several state and local
entities in providing electronic records services. The presentation focused
on how technology can be used to enhance records management and archiving
AND THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
The joint subcommittee
next turned its attention to the Public Records Act. The Library of Virginia
had publicly circulated a conceptual proposal relating to electronic records
and archiving prior to the meeting and had solicited feedback on the proposal.
Members of the joint subcommittee and the public were provided with a
copy of the proposal and the comments. It was decided that because the
issues relating to electronic records and the Public Records Act were
complex and numerous, staff should hold a series of workgroups to meet
with interested parties to discuss proposals and ideas. These ideas would
then be reported to a more formal workgroup tasked with making recommendations
to the joint subcommittee. Delegate Cox appointed Senator Houck, Senator
Bell, Rosanna Bencoach, and Conley Edwards to serve on the Public Records
The first staff workgroup
regarding electronic records and the Public Records Act will meet on August
24, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. in the fifth floor conference room of the General
Interested parties are invited to participate.
The next meeting
of the joint subcommittee has not been scheduled and will appear on the
study website when available.
The Hon. M. Kirkland