News from the Library of Congress
January 16, 2013
FEDLINK to Manage Information Acquisitions Across Federal Agencies
Service Will Provide Cost Savings to Executive, Legislative, Judicial Branches
The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK), a unit of the Library of Congress, will manage the acquisition of information products and services – such as subscriptions, books, maps and newspapers – on behalf of federal agencies that opt into the program. The service could potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars and increase access to information resources for the benefit of the American people.
Currently, more than 20 federal agencies, both military and civilian – including FEDLINK – participate in the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). FSSI was created in 2005 by the Department of the Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration to identify products and services that could be purchased more efficiently through strategic sourcing. FSSI agencies also provide centralized acquisition for a variety of products to streamline efficiency and reduce costs to the federal government and taxpayers.
FEDLINK already serves as a centralized manager of information products and services acquisitions on behalf of more than 90 federal agencies and bureaus throughout all branches of government. Expanding that service to other federal agencies could potentially save between $140 million and $555 million over the next four years across federal government agencies depending on participation, according to a report by the Federal Research Division at the Library of Congress.
"We are pleased to leverage the work FEDLINK has done on behalf of federal libraries for nearly 40 years to expand federal savings across other agencies," said Blane K. Dessy, FEDLINK executive director. "Our experience in information products acquisitions makes FEDLINK uniquely positioned to offer this service, and we are eager to do our part to reduce costs while ensuring federal agencies have the information they need," Dessy said.
The initial effort will target legal information and science, technology, engineering and medical content. FEDLINK has been offering a diverse array of resources for federal libraries since 1974, including web-based subscriptions, books, maps, newspapers and periodicals.
Strategic sourcing is the collaborative process of critically analyzing an organization’s spending, then using the information to make decisions about acquiring commodities and services more effectively. Its primary goals are to strategically source across federal agencies; find ways to increase total cost savings, value, and socioeconomic participation; collaborate with industry to develop optimal solutions; share best practices; and create a strategic sourcing community.
The Federal Library and Information Network is an organization of federal agencies working together to achieve optimum use of the resources and facilities of federal libraries and information centers by promoting common services, coordinating and sharing available resources, and providing continuing professional education for federal library and information staff. FEDLINK serves as a forum for discussion of the policies, programs, procedures and technologies that affect federal libraries and the information services they provide to their agencies, to the Congress, the federal courts and the American people.
Originally established by the Librarian of Congress in 1963 as the Federal Library Committee (later the Federal Library and Information Center Committee or "FLICC"), FEDLINK continues in recognition of the need for cooperation and concerted action within the community of federal libraries and information centers in the 21st century. In 2001, the Congress established a statutory revolving fund under 2 U.S.C. §182c to support FEDLINK interagency procurement and library support efforts.
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