Public Access:

Two Case Studies of Federal Electronic Dissemination

IMTEC-90-44BR: Published: May 14, 1990. Publicly Released: May 14, 1990.

Additional Materials:

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) electronic information dissemination policies and practices, focusing on whether the policies and practices ensured the broadest possible dissemination of disclosable government information.

GAO found that: (1) USDA electronic dissemination policies and practices did not impede public access to its on-line database; (2) it could not review the EPA database, which was not completed; (3) USDA database users said that there was no widespread problem with USDA dissemination policies and practices, but experienced difficulty with data timeliness or inadequate indexing; (4) USDA database users believed that USDA generally met user needs in the agricultural community; and (5) EPA database users said that on-line access through another network was cumbersome and time-consuming.

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