Government as a Partner in Knowledge Management: Lessons from the US Freedom of Information Act

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This chapter assesses the reliability and predictability of government departments as partners in corporate knowledge management systems. The specific topic is knowledge availability under the US Freedom of Information Act, but the general implications apply to governments at all levels around the world that hold business information, data, or knowledge assets. By comparing processes related to US freedom of information requests across departments and across time, separated by a dramatic change in presidential administrations and attitudes toward governmental openness, this study examines the relative reliability of agency processes. In particular, reports on the handling of confidential business information provide us with specific insights on this topic as do reports on records with personal privacy concerns. In the end, there appears to be little predictability in the process, even with clear instruction from the highest levels. The topic needs more in-depth study, but businesses, at least in the US, should share data, information, and knowledge with the government deliberatively.

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Building a Competitive Public Sector with Knowledge Management Strategy

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