NARA, GPO team for record upkeep

Two of the government's best-known sources for federal records this week formalized a deal to preserve electronic information.

In a Tuesday announcement, the Government Printing Office and the National Archives and Records Administration agreed that GPO would be responsible for public access and preservation of records available on its Web site, GPO Access, while the Archives agency would keep legal custody of the records to ensure their future availability.

The partnership makes GPO the sixth formally-affiliated archive of NARA. Others include West Point and the Naval Academy, according to Lewis Bellardo, deputy archivist of the United States.

The affirmation of GPO's physical custody of the records means that NARA no longer needs to provide full copies of the records. The agreement lets users "move between our catalogs straight into the more descriptive, detailed holdings of our partner," Bellardo said.

Immediate changes will not be visible on GPO Access, according to Judy Russell, the office's superintendent of documents. The partnership saves both agencies the trouble of transferring copies of all GPO's electronic materials, such as the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, into the physical custody of NARA. The public can trust that the security measures put in place by GPO maintain the same standards NARA employs, Russell said.

"We are giving the public the assurance that the information they are getting is official and reliable," she said.

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