For the sixth year in a row, New York has failed to pass a law to require the use of permanent/durable paper or other durable media in the creation of state records and publications of enduring value. This year's effort took the bill all the way through both houses of the legislature--a first--but the bill was vetoed by the governor who was concerned that it would undermine the efforts of his Information Resources Management Task Force. The bill will be revised and resubmitted next year. Following is a copy of the joint Senate and Assembly bill and the veto message delivered by Governor Pataki.
STATE OF NEW YORK
S. 267--A A. 353--A
1995-1996 Regular Session
SENATE - ASSEMBLY
January 4, 1995
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations -- recommitted to the Committee on Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. PILLITTERE -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BRODSKY, DIAZ, DUGAN, ENGLEBRIGHT, GALEF, GLICK, GOTTFRIED, KAUFMAN, LUSTER, McENENY, TONKO -- read once and referred to the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development -- recommitted to the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. Statement of legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds and declares that government has a fundamental obligation to record information supporting its operation, policies, and procedures and to protect the legal, financial, and other interests of government as they relate to the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the state and its citizens. Government has a concomitant duty to preserve for the public good the records and publications by which this information is documented.
The legislature finds that much of the information regarding these activities has been recorded on paper containing destructive acids. Research has proven that the acid content of most writing and printing paper produced since the mid-nineteenth century has drastically reduced the life of public records and publications. The legislature recognizes that use of acidic paper threatens the existence of significant portions of state records and publications of enduring value. The legislature also finds that modern sound recording, imaging, and electronic media are vulnerable to damage and deterioration and are susceptible to technological obsolescence which may render them unusable and result in further loss of state records and publications.
It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that state publications and state records of enduring value remain accessible through the use of materials and practices that promote their long-term retention, including through the use of permanent/durable paper which has a prospective life of several hundred years and which is readily available at a cost equal to, or less than, comparable acidic paper.
§ 2. The arts and cultural affairs law is amended by adding a new section 57.06 to read as follows:
Explanation--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted.
§ 57.06. State publications and public records of enduring value; retention and accessibility. 1. Definition. As used or referred to in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "State agency" is any state department, division, board, bureau, office, council, commission, or a public authority or public benefit corporation having a statewide responsibility, or any other governmental entity performing a governmental or proprietary function for the state that is created or established by law or executive order, except the judiciary.
"Permanent/Durable paper" shall be paper that meets or exceeds the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for permanent paper for printed library materials.
(c) "Records of enduring value" shall be all records that are: (1) designated on state agency records retention and disposition schedule or other plan to be retained permanently; or (2) identified as archival and designated by the state archives for preservation; or (3) required by statute or regulation to be retained permanently.
(d) "State records" shall mean documentary materials (except library books or museum artifacts), regardless of medium, created by or on behalf of or received by a state agency, in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and retained as evidence of government business or as a source of valuable information, provided that such terms shall not include state publications or photocopies of records used for convenience or general reference purposes.
(e) "State publication" shall mean any document printed or otherwise produced by a state agency or the judiciary, either directly or by contract, in multiple copies for general distribution, including but not limited to annual reports and studies.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a state agency shall ensure that state records of enduring value remain available, usable, and understandable by producing such records on permanent/durable paper or by establishing recordkeeping practices and adhering to standards for selection, storage and protection of recording media, established in consultation with the state archives, that will foster continuing retention and accessibility of such records.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a state agency or the judiciary shall ensure that state publications that serve significant documentary research or evidentiary purposes are produced on permanent/durable paper or on another medium, identified in consultation with the state library and the state archives, that will foster continuing retention and accessibility of such publications.
4. The commissioner of education is authorized to promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section and to assist the chief officers of other state agencies in implementing the provisions of this section and to assist on the request of the chief judge of the court of appeals in developing rules for the courts of the state of New York for state publications and public records of enduring value which are consistent with this section.
§ 3. This act shall take effect on the first day of July next succeeding the date upon which it shall have become a law, and shall apply to contracts for the printing of state publications that are entered into on or after such effective date; provided, however, that effective immediately, the commissioner of education shall be authorized to promulgate any regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act and to assist the chief officers of other state agencies in their timely implementation of this act.
VETO MESSAGE - No. 31
TO THE SENATE:
I am returning herewith, without my approval, the following bill:
Senate Bill Number 267-A, entitled:
"AN ACT to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to the use of permanent/durable paper or other durable media in the creation of state publications and public records of enduring value"
The bill, which is a State Education Departmental bill, would amend the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law to preserve for the public good records and publications of enduring value. While the goal of preserving significant records and publications so future generations may benefit from such documents is laudable, the proposed bill would establish a preferred method of recordkeeping which fails to recognize the necessity and validity of electronic storage of State records.
The construct of the bill would encourage permanent/durable paper as the preferred manner of document storage. This is evident not only in the statement of legislative intent but also in the body of the legislation. The legislative intent clearly encourages the use of paper and, at the same time, discourages the use of more efficient electronic document storage systems. Although the bill would allow for other media to be used to preserve documents, the scale is tipped decidedly in favor of using permanent/durable paper as the standard for permanent document storage since the use of durable paper is the only method of storage that is defined in the bill. The bill also would require other media to receive an additional review by the State Library and the State Archives while permanent/durable paper would be accepted without further authorization.
The bill is contrary to the State's approach in educating agencies as to the benefits of properly designed and implemented electronic document management systems. The Governor's Task Force on Information Resource Management has been educating State agencies on the efficiencies, cost savings, and improved service capabilities that this technology can afford the State. Properly designed and implemented electronic document management systems not only provide safe and secure storage for records, but also increase the utility of those records by making them more widely accessible through network systems such as the Internet. In addition, backup and copy procedures supporting electronic systems provide a more reliable level of recovery in emergencies that is not generally associated with paper.
As our State faces the increasing burden of information storage, we must investigate new and alternative methods of information management. The bill fails to account for this necessity and, as such, commands my disapproval.
The bill is disapproved. (Signed) George E. Pataki