6 November 1997
Source: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html

[Federal Register: November 6, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 215)]
[Page 60093-60094]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Notice of Planned Termination of the Ethics Bulletin Board System

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics is planning to terminate The
Ethics Bulletin Board System (TEBBS), its electronic bulletin board
service for executive branch Government ethics information, effective
January 1, 1998. In its place, OGE will continue to enhance its
Internet World Wide Web

[[Page 60094]]

site, established last year, which contains most of the same electronic
materials as well as additional informational resources and links to
other pertinent Internet sites.

DATES: Comments by the agencies and the public are invited and should
be submitted to OGE by December 8, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500,
1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917, Attention: James
V. Parle.

Information Resources Management, Office of Government Ethics;
telephone: 202-208-8000; TDD: 202-208-8025; FAX: 202-208-8037; Internet
E-mail address: usoge@oge.gov (for E-mail messages, the subject line
should include the following reference--Comment on planned TEBBS

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that, effective
January 1, 1998, the Office of Government Ethics is planning to
terminate the operation of its ``The Ethics Bulletin Board System''
(TEBBS). This notice is also being posted on TEBBS and OGE's Web site.
In light of the creation last year of OGE's new Web site on the
Internet, OGE has initially determined that TEBBS is no longer needed
for electronic dissemination of OGE Government ethics information to
the agencies and the public. Nonetheless, OGE invites comments from the
agencies and the public on this planned termination of TEBBS, to be
received by December 8, 1997, and will carefully consider any comments
received before reaching a final decision. If OGE does decide to delay
or reverse the planned termination of TEBBS, OGE will publish a further
notice to this effect in the Federal Register, as well as posting it on
both TEBBS and the OGE Web site.
    The Office of Government Ethics introduced TEBBS to the executive
branch ethics community at the September 1992 Government Ethics
Conference. Since then, TEBBS has been used to disseminate electronic
copies of OGE's executive branchwide ethics regulations, along with its
advisory memoranda and letters. The TEBBS bulletin board also
electronically provides access to various ethics program administration
aids, such as ethics reporting forms, training materials, and OGE
    When OGE introduced the TEBBS service in 1992, electronic bulletin
boards were the principal means for the Government to disseminate
information electronically. However, since that time, information
technology has changed significantly. Today, the World Wide Web on the
Internet has become the primary electronic means of disseminating
information. The Office of Government Ethics introduced its own Web
site at the September 1996 Government Ethics Conference.
    The current uniform resource locator (URL) address for OGE's
Internet World Wide Web site is http://www.usoge.gov. The OGE Web site
contains, either on-site or via links to other Web sites, most of the
same electronic information that is available on TEBBS as noted above,
as well as that on OGE's ethics CD-ROM, which OGE will continue to
publish twice a year. The Web site also provides access to additional
informational resources, such as electronic copies of pertinent
Government ethics laws and Executive orders. Further, the Web site
includes all the current OGE forms and publications in Adobe Acrobat
portable document format (PDF) files that can be downloaded and used as
needed by agencies and their employees. The Office of Government Ethics
continually updates its Web site as new material becomes available for
electronic dissemination.
    Response to OGE's Web site has been better than expected. Since OGE
put its Web site into service a year ago, the number of ``hits''
(visits to a page or downloading of a document) has grown steadily. The
volume now averages some 34,000 ``hits'' a month. The Office of
Government Ethics expects this number to continue to grow as it adds
additional functionality and information to the site. Not surprisingly,
there has been a corresponding decrease in the use of TEBBS. With OGE's
limited resources, the largely redundant and less flexible capabilities
offered by TEBBS has become too expensive to operate and maintain. The
additional resources and capabilities of OGE's Web site should more
than compensate for the termination of the TEBBS electronic bulletin
board service.

    Approved: October 31, 1997.
Stephen D. Potts,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 97-29333 Filed 11-5-97; 8:45 am]