General Accountability Office


Copyright Office Needs to Develop Plans that Address Technical and Organizational Challenges Read full text in English

2015 report GAO-15-338

The mission of the Copyright Office, a service unit within the Library of Congress, is to promote creativity by administering and sustaining a national copyright system. As part of this mission, the Copyright Office registers about 500,000 creative works a year for copyright and records documentation related to copyright transfer and sale. In recent years, the Register of Copyrights has discussed the need for a modernized Copyright Office, to include upgrades to the current IT environment.

In the report page A, 23

- The Library has serious weaknesses in its IT management, which have hindered the ability of the Library and the Copyright Office to meet mission requirements. For example, the Library has not had a permanent CIO in over 2 years.

- Tthe office does not have an IT strategic plan, and officials described difficulties in developing such a plan given that the Library has not yet developed one.

- Decision makers at the Library and the Copyright Office do not have the assurance that the selected investments support the organization’s goals and do not duplicate existing activities.

- Recommendation: Develop an IT strategic plan that includes the office’s prioritized IT goals, measures, and timelines, and is aligned with the Library’s ongoing strategic planning efforts

In the report page A...

- Copyright Office has not identified the business needs investments are intended to meet, expected costs, or how they align with the agency’s strategic plan.

- Office also did not present the investments to the Library’s IT investment review board, which was established to select investments for funding that meet defined criteria and ensure that such investments are not duplicative of existing investments or activities performed within the Library.

- limitations in the performance and usability of the office’s electronic copyright registration system, and the Copyright Office has expressed concerns about the integrity of the files stored in the Library’s servers

The risk cases visible on this page are collected and described by the e-Government Subgroup of the EUROSAI IT Working Group in contact with author Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI). In the same way, analytical assumptions and headings are chosen by the Subgroup. We encourage you to read the original texts by SAIs - to be found in the linked files.