Official Federal Government Information at Your Fingertips
By Robert Frierson
official Federal government information in a hurry? The Government Printing
Office has it. Welcome to the world of GPO
Access -- its only a few keystrokes away! GPO Access
is one of the few official services that provide access to information
from all three branches of the Federal Government.
What is GPO Access?
GPO Access has transformed public access to Government information, not only for Americans, but also for people all over the world. It provides free electronic access to official Federal information and assists and encourages Federal agencies to make their information available electronically.
It provides access to more than 1,300 databases through more than 80 applications, such as the Federal Register and the Congressional Record. There are more than 104,000 titles available on GPO Access servers, while GPO Access links to more than 68,000 additional titles on other official Federal Web sites. Many electronic documents appear on the day of publication, exactly as they appear in print, and are the official published version. Additionally, GPO Access recently added Bens Guide to U.S. Government for Kids designed specifically to meet the needs of parents, teachers, and students in grades K-12 with over 21,000 hits a day.
GPO Access Unique Features
GPO Access was carefully designed, developed and implemented so that it is easy to access and use. Numerous search tools locate Government information products by topic, title, agency, or keyword within one database or across multiple databases. An electronic order mechanism allows for the secure online purchase of print and electronic products. Additionally, the systems capability to expand to meet the publics needs and to store information permanently supports GPOs commitment to providing permanent public access to electronic Government information products. GPO has saved other Federal agencies time, money and resources by providing an inexpensive and effective method for disseminating information. Recent statistics indicate that GPO Access fulfills approximately 21 million document retrievals per month, while helping Congress, Federal agencies, and the Courts to disseminate official Government information quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.
supports a wide range of dissemination technologies, from client/server
applications through the Internet to dial-up modem access, including methods
compatible with assistive technologies that comply with the Americans
With Disabilities Act. Federal Depository Gateway libraries also provide
convenient off-site access at the local level. Even individuals without
computers can utilize GPO Access through public access workstations
at one of more than 1,300 Federal Depository Libraries located throughout
the country. Users may also receive user support from the Government Printing
Office s User Support Team via phone (toll-free 1-888-293-6498 or
the DC metropolitan area 202-512-1530), fax or
GPOs constant efforts to improve and refine the online products and services available through GPO Access in response to customer feedback have also resulted in commendations for this service from organizations, publications, other Web sites, and satisfied users. GPO Access has been praised for its quick turnaround time of placing information and newsworthy Federal information from all three branches of government online, and making federal information accessible to the widest possible audience.
Vice President Albert
Gore wrote a letter to the Public Printer of the U. S Government Printing
Office in May 1998, stating, "Your organization continues to serve
as an excellent model for other Federal agencies on how to provide an
interesting and easy-to-use web site, providing consumers hassle-free
access to government services. Your innovative website encourages consumers
to contact your agency and to take advantage of the many services which
you provide." GPO Access has also been recognized by U.S Representative
Steny Hoyer (D-MD), first recipient of American Association of Law Libraries
first annual Public Access to Government Information Award in 1999, the
Center for Democracy and Technology, OMB Watch, and the Government Executive
Magazine on THE 15 BEST FEDS ON THE WEB, among others.
is now one of the most recognized electronic facilitators of free, official
Federal information and locator services on the Internet. Information
technology is such an integral part of our lives that GPO has recognized
the need to maintain an efficient, but user-friendly system that continually
strives to become an optimum resource for locating Federal information
products and services. Throughout the U.S. Government Printing Offices
nearly 140 years of existence it has always been a recognized leader of
disseminating official Federal information. GPO Access is the tool
of the 90s that will shape the future of disseminating electronic
Federal information over the Internet to reach the greatest concentration
of people in the shortest period of time!
Robert Frierson is an Electronic Products and Services Specialist at the U.S. Government Printing Office. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.