koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

wtf # 8745


Contact: Macey Morles
PR Coordinator

For Immediate Release
July 30, 2004

Statement from ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman on the destruction of
Department of Justice documents

CHICAGO -- The following statement has been issued by President-Elect
Michael Gorman, representing President Carol Brey-Casiano, who is
currently in Guatemala representing the Association:

Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department
of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of
Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications
the Department has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The
Department of Justice has called for these five these public documents,
two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from
depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only
to those with access to a law office or law library.

The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how
citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the
government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and
destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select
Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes;
Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil
Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).

ALA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the
withdrawn materials in order to obtain an official response from the
Department of Justice regarding this unusual action, and why the
Department has requested that documents that have been available to the
public for as long as four years be removed from depository library
collections. ALA is committed to ensuring that public documents remain
available to the public and will do its best to bring about a
satisfactory resolution of this matter.

Librarians should note that, according to policy 72, written
authorization from the Superintendent of Documents is required to remove
any documents. To this date no such written authorization in hard copy
has been issued.

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