MEMORANDUM FOR THE
HEADS OF EXECUTIVE AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Guidance on
the Government Information Locator Service
The Paperwork Reduction
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3511) directs the establishment of the Government
Information Locator Service (GILS) to help the public and agencies
locate and access information throughout the Federal Government.
GILS can also assist agencies in complying with aspects of the Federal
Records Act (44 U.S.C. 3301) and the Freedom of Information Act
as amended in 1996 (5 U.S.C. 552). Policies such as OMB Circular
No. A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources" (61 F.R.
6428, February 20, 1996) also describe agency responsibilities to
help the public locate government information and to ensure management
and accountability of agency programs.
OMB Bulletin 95-1, "Establishment
of Government Information Locator Service," which guided the initial
startup of GILS, has expired; nonetheless the agency responsibilities
outlined above continue. Agencies such as the Department of Defense,
the Department of Treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency,
and the Government Printing Office have already demonstrated outstanding
initiative and leadership. All agencies will now be describing GILS
progress in their annual reporting under the Paperwork Reduction
Act of 1995. (See OMB Bulletin No. 98-03, November 18, 1997). Agencies
should also routinely solicit feedback on their GILS performance,
results, and plans from significant public stakeholders and user
communities. Agencies should implement their parts of GILS on the
Internet as described in FIPS 192-1, and should link their GILS
records to the underlying information resources to the extent that
they are accessible on the Internet and its World Wide Web.
The Chief Information
Officers (CIO) Council has an important role in the development
and implementation of GILS policy. I ask that the CIO Council work
with the Government Information Technology Services Board to focus
on training agencies in GILS best practices; further developing
the U.S. Federal GILS guidelines, search standards and subject keywords;
coordinating "one stop" access to multi-agency government services;
and coordinating with intergovernmental and other related initiatives.