Information Dissemination:

Innovative Ways Agencies Are Using Technology

T-IMTEC-92-6: Published: Feb 19, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 1992.

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GAO discussed how federal agencies are using technology to provide the public with cheaper and faster access to a wider range of information, focusing on: (1) compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM); (2) bulletin board systems; (3) voice messaging/facsimile; and (4) floppy discs. GAO noted that: (1) the U.S. Geological Survey's Geologic Long-Range Inclined Asdic-East Coast CD-ROM includes sonar-scanned data of the East Coast sea floor and ocean maps, and is available free of charge to all researchers; (2) the Department of Commerce's National Trade Data Bank CD-ROM consolidates over 100,000 documents covering U.S. trade and international economics; (3) the General Services Administration and the Government Printing Office produce a CD-ROM which contains federal regulations on procurement and on acquiring, managing, and using federal information processing resources; (4) the Patent and Trademark Office replaced its on-line system listing patent numbers and classifications with three CD-ROM titles; (5) the National Agricultural Library has a trial project underway to test scanning hardware and indexing/search software for capturing text and images in digital format; (6) Commerce and Internet offer computer bulletin board systems which enable users to post or read messages; (7) the Supreme Court just ended a 2-year information dissemination pilot project to electronically transmit its decisions; (8) the Department of Agriculture uses voice messaging and facsimile technology to offer a free 24-hour service which makes available lists of news releases; and (9) the Health Care Financing Administration issues its 146-page Medicare pricing table on two floppy discs.

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