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Principle and practicality:Funding electronic access to Washington State Government Information

Authors
Journal
Journal of Government Information
1352-0237
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
24
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1352-0237(97)00043-9
Keywords
  • Cost Of Public Records
  • Electronic Records
  • Public Records Policy
  • Public Records In Washington State
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract The allocation and recovery of costs related to electronic public access to government information represent important and controversial public policy issues. Policy makers must carefully balance the goal of widespread public access by electronic means with the need to sustain the infrastructure that makes such access possible. The paper argues that policies with the stated objective of promoting low- or no-cost electronic access, but which do not allow for adequate cost recovery, will retard the development of robust electronic public access systems. Based on a case study in Washington State, the paper discusses the need to distinguish between the content and delivery of government-held information, to allow agencies to charge user fees as a cost-recovery alternative, and to employ safeguards which ensure that such fees do not inhibit the goals of public access.

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