[LINK] e-Tabling Documents for Australian Parliament

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Tue Jul 31 08:19:07 AEST 2012

On 29/07/12 10:06, Roger Clarke wrote:

> At 9:24 +1000 29/7/12, Tom Worthington wrote:
>> This is to propose that the Australian Parliament change its procedures
>> to allow the tabling of electronic, rather than paper, documents ...
> ... Agencies must retain the obligation to make hard-copy available on
> request - in order to avoid disadvantaging people who, for various
> reasons, do not have convenient access to the electronic version. ...

Agencies don't have an obligation to provide hard copies of their 
reports on request, nor do I think they should. They are only required 
to print 100 copies for distribution to some libraries. I suggest a 
better approach is for librarians to help the public access the 
electronic copies in public libraries and print what they need.

> They can of course be encouraged to enable print-on-demand, but they
> need to have the obligation to [themselves use the print-on-demand
> facility to] deliver hard-copy by snail-mail to those who request
> such copies. ...

It is not worth the complexity of each agency providing a separate print 
on demand service. The National Library of Australia already provides a 
print on demand service called "Copies Direct" for documents, including 
government reports: https://copiesdirect.nla.gov.au/

At the moment the print service is expensive, as it is designed for the 
assortment of difficult to print formats the library's holdings of 
documents are in. If the agency documents are well formatted and there 
is sufficient demand, it should be possible to reduce the cost. Also 
competition could be provided, by other commercial POD services.

It would be useful if the reader could pick excerpts from different 
reports and ask for them to be printed and bound together.

Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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