- Report Published -
|Database Indexing Guidelines|
|Library of Virginia|
|SJR 370 (Regular Session, 1997)|
|In response to Senate Joint Resolution No. 370, the Library of Virginia is submitting this report. The Resolution requested that the State Librarian and the State Archivist, in cooperation with the Council of Information Management, the Department of Information Technology and representatives of the doctorate-granting universities and the Virginia Press Association, to study the development of guidelines for the compilation of indices of computer databases held by public bodies of state government.|
Senate Bill 326 of the 1996 session of the Virginia General Assembly amended Section 2.1-342, Code of Virginia, pertaining to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, to include the requirement to index certain computer databases. In summary this legislation stated that "Beginning July 1, 1997, every public body of state government shall compile, and annually update, an index of computer databases which contains at a minimum those databases created by them on or after July 1, 1997..."
Senate Joint Resolution No. 370 ensured that the above parties, with the increased level of assistance by the Library of Virginia, would work toward a set of guidelines that could be utilized to implement the amended provisions of FOIA. Much progress was made in the days leading to the passage of SJR 370 in February of 1997. However, the guidelines were not quite ironed out when SJR 370 was passed. Senator Edd Houck (D-Spotsylvania) agreed that an extensive study would not be necessary if the guidelines would indeed be worked out to the satisfaction of the effected parties. Negotiations continued on the development of the guidelines and they were soon ready for implementation. Most parties involved in these discussions indicated that the guidelines were a step in the right direction but would certainly not be the final chapter on this issue.
This report outlines the background associated with the development of the guidelines; the results of the first years' response to the guidelines; and copies of the 1996 FOIA amendment; SJR No. 370; and the Database Indexing Guidelines are included in the appendices section.