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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Pence rationale for abolishing State Library Genealogy Department? [Updated]

Updating this ILB post from Feb. 10th, which was headed "More on: Pence budget would eliminate the state genealogy department, a peoples' resource and a state treasure," the ILB has today discovered what seems to be the only rationale behind the Governor's summary decision to eliminate the State Library Department of Genealogy. It is contained in a news release today from the Governor titled "OMB Submits Performance-based Budgeting Report to Governor Pence" that reads:

Governor Pence today received the final Program Assessment Comprehensive Evaluation (PACE) performance-based budgeting report, as prepared by the Government Efficiency and Financial Planning (GEFP) division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This report evaluates the overall performance of each instrumentality, agency, authority, board, or commission in the executive department of state government, as laid out in Executive Order 13-02.

“I asked the Office of Management and Budget to complete this report on day one of my administration because of its critical importance in maintaining and improving government efficiency and transparency,” said Governor Pence. “Continual review of our state government is essential, and I look forward to closely reviewing the Office of Management and Budget’s recommendations as we work to streamline and more effectively manage programs that are important to Hoosiers.” A copy of the PACE report can be found here.

The PACE report, however, is only 20 pages long. If there is an evaluation of "the overall performance of each instrumentality, agency, authority, board, or commission in the executive department of state government," it must exist elsewhere, as it is not in the 20-page report, which is titled "Promoting Government Efficiency, Transparency, and Superior Performance through Program Assessment Comprehensive Evaluation (PACE)." The entire 3-sentence recommendation on the Department of Genealogy is on pp. 9-10:
Genealogy Collection Program (Indiana State Library): This program provides services that could be provided by private organizations. As a cost savings measure, the Collection should be digitized through a private genealogy provider who will pay the State a royalty for its use. Potential annual general fund savings: $400,000.
Kind of like the Toll Road?

[Updated at 4:00 PM] A reader has just sent the ILB this Governor's news release from Oct. 23, 2014:

Governor Pence Announces State Partnership with Ancestry.com: Will Digitize 13 Million Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates by 2016 Bicentennial

Indianapolis – The State of Indiana, through the Indiana Commission on Public Records (State Archives) has entered into a contract with Ancestry.com to digitize and eventually post online more than 13 million birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage records for access by Hoosiers. These online historical records, those older than 75 years, will start to become available in 2015, with the completion date expected by the State’s Bicentennial in 2016. This will be the largest online collection of the State of Indiana’s materials ever digitized.

“As we head toward the 2016 Bicentennial and celebrate Indiana’s past, this initiative serves not only present-day Hoosiers by improving accessibility to records, but also future Hoosiers as they look back at state history,” Governor Pence said.

This partnership saves the State of Indiana more than $3.2 million—the cost to index, scan, and make accessible the materials, and would have taken the state more than a decade to complete. It also provides another mechanism to both access the records and preserve the remaining originals from excessive use and degradation, and provides an additional copy in case original copies are destroyed.

For the last two years, the Indiana Commission on Public Records has been working with the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) Vital Records office to achieve this partnership. Both the ISDH and State Archives will receive a copy of the digital images and indexes—ISDH will use its copy to improve service to Hoosiers by streamlining the process of accessing records and providing official copies to citizens, while State Archives will provide access to the records more than 75 years old at its facility. Ancestry.com also will provide access to its members for the historical records when the project is completed.

The birth and death certificates date back to the early 1900s, and the State’s marriage records from 1958 through 2005.

ILB: But, as detailed in this information about the state collections that generally outlines the Genealogy Department holdings, the digitization of Hoosier "birth, death, and marriage certificates over 75 years old" certainly will not replace the current State holdings in the Generalogy Dept., but can provide enhanced access to some records in the State Archives.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 12, 2015 03:26 PM
Posted to Indiana Government