Press/Journalists

Press Release
October 5, 2009

The White House, National Archives And Government Printing Office Achieve Open Government Milestone

Contact Information

  • National Archives Public Affairs Staff:
    202-357-5300

Washington, DC…The White House, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) achieved a breakthrough in making Government information available and usable by the public. GPO converted the text of the Federal Register (2000-2009) into XML (extensible markup language) and placed it online in numerous Federal Government portals, which include:

This project began when President Barack Obama challenged Federal agencies to create a more open and transparent Government. GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys), a world-class information management system for Federal publications, is instrumental in enabling this enhanced capability for the Federal Register.

"The transformation, undertaken by the Government Printing Office and the National Archives and Records Administration, vastly increases the Federal Register's usefulness to the American public and further opens the curtains on the inner workings of Government, a major goal of the Obama Administration,” said Beth Noveck, Director of the White House Open Government Initiative.

The change supplements the official publishing formats with XML, a form of text that can be manipulated in virtually limitless ways with digital applications. For example, people who want to know about the workings of the Executive branch of the Federal Government no longer need to sift through the Federal Register in its traditional Department-by-Department and Agency-by-Agency format. This new format will allow applications to be developed that will support user needs and can rearrange the Federal Register’s contents in personalized ways to match their particular interests. In this new format users can rearrange the Federal Register’s contents in personalized ways to match their particular interests. It is now possible, for example, to download the Federal Register and easily see what proposed actions might affect one’s community or region, or what actions might have an impact on one’s profession or business interests.

“Providing ten years of Federal Register data in a format that is easy to manipulate is an exciting and ground-breaking development,” said Ray Mosley, Director of the Federal Register. “This paves the way for consumers, rather than Government officials to be in charge of deciding how to access critical information. The Government Printing Office and the Office of the Federal Register accomplished a minor miracle in warp-speed time.”

“I want to congratulate GPO employees who worked with The White House and the Office of Federal Register in providing the American people the tools to provide openness and transparency to the documents of our democracy,” said Public Printer Bob Tapella. “GPO’s Federal Digital System not only provides transparency to our Government, but provides Americans a permanent repository of authentic Federal Government information.”

The Office of the Federal Register, within the National Archives and Records Administration, publishes seven major publications containing the official text of Federal laws, Presidential documents, administrative regulations, public notices, and the descriptions of Federal organizations, programs and activities. Its premier publications are the daily Federal Register and the 226-volume Code of Federal Regulations.

The GPO is the Federal Government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. Government information in all its forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three Branches of the Federal Government. In addition to publication sales, GPO makes Government information available at no cost to the public through GPO’s Federal Digital System (www.fdsys.gov), GPO Access (www.gpo.gov/fdsys/), and through partnerships with approximately 1,250 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit the GPO Web site (www.gpo.gov).

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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