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United States Government

Bill Would End US Govt's Sale of Already-Available Technical Papers To Itself 32

An anonymous reader writes "Members of the Senate have proposed a bill that would prohibit the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) from selling to other U.S. federal agencies technical papers that are already freely available. NTIS is under the Department of Commerce. The bill is probably a result of a 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which points out that 'Of the reports added to NTIS's repository during fiscal years 1990 through 2011, GAO estimates that approximately 74 percent were readily available from other public sources.' Ars Technica notes that the term 'public sources' refers to 'either the issuing organization's website, the federal Internet portal, or another online resource.'"
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Bill Would End US Govt's Sale of Already-Available Technical Papers To Itself

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  • by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:04AM (#46733185)

    That's not very convincing. $1.3 million a year is literally a rounding error of a rounding error in the context of a $Trillion budget. Since Senators make $174k each, and they have offices with dozens of people, it's likely the salary of the people who just wrote a proposal to defund this agency cost more then the agency did.

    And if you read your source critically you'll note that it actually proved the agency has value. 26% of it's reports are not available to the government from free sources. The other 74% are clearly not in an easily searched place or nobody would pay the NTIS from their budget to access the damn things.

    BTW, the source you link to is a reprint of the press release from McCaskill's office, not an independent take at the issue. And even in her press release McCaskill just doesn't supply a very convincing array of facts.

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