U.S. Copyright Office
Strategic Plan 2002-2006
Part Copyright Office Strategic Initiatives
Business Process Reengineering
The principal processes of the Copyright Office have operated in essentially the same manner for four decades. In order to serve the American people as effectively as possible, the Office has embarked on an extensive effort to reengineer its six primary business processes: registering claims, recording documents, acquiring deposited works, answering requests, maintaining records, and maintaining accounts.
The objectives of the BPR project are to:
improve operations and service to achieve better processing times and create timely public records;
enhance operational efficiencies through use of new or alternative technologies;
contain costs of registration, recordation, and other services;
strengthen security within the Copyright Office;
- use staff and space efficiently.
In FY2000, the Office contracted with PricewaterhouseCoopers to facilitate the reengineering process and develop and create an implementation plan. Guided by a Steering Committee, a Copyright Process Reengineering Team worked for eight months on process redesign. The team created an "as-is" process description, alternatives for the "to-be" process, and a high-level activity-based costing study for each process.
In April 2001, the Office's BPR Steering Committee, led by the Register, agreed to the conceptual outline of the future processes, organization, facilities, and technology. A detailed plan to implement the reengineering concept was completed in June 2001.
The BPR conceptual outline reorganizes the current operational divisions of the Office into six new divisions, each representing a process:
Receipt Analysis Control Center: Receives and sorts items that enter the Office. Creates initial tracking records. Converts paper materials to electronic format for use by the rest of the Office. Sorts and dispatches deposit copies to the appropriate location. Performs outgoing mail functions in a centralized printing and mailing location.
Accounts: Processes checks, verifies and allocates fees, balances accounts, interacts with third party pay services, performs refund or uncollectible activities, and handles deposit accounts.
Registration: Updates tracking records, examines for copyrightability and other legal requirements, catalogs claims of copyright registrations, and corresponds with applicants. Organized by sections according to class of work.
Recordation: Examines for recordability, updates tracking records, and creates a public record of documents that relate to copyright.
Information: Operates a customer information and service center and produces search reports. Prepares certifications and maintains deposit copies and other records in storage facilities.
- Acquisitions: Issues demands for materials needed for Library of Congress collections and receives voluntary deposits sent to satisfy mandatory deposit requirements. Creates acquisitions and bibliographic records for materials demanded, creates receipt records of all deposits received, collects and maintains information on publishers and distributors, and corresponds with depositors or their legal representatives.
During FY2001 the Office, with the guidance of contractor PricewaterhouseCoopers, completed a BPR study and implementation plan, formed the first two implementation teams, began definition of two processes (Receive Mail and Maintain Accounts), and completed and implemented a communications plan.
The performance goal for this strategy is to improve Copyright Office public services in registration, recordation, and mandatory deposit processes, to be accomplished by implementing a BPR plan incrementally over the next three years.
This project will proceed in concert with the new information technology strategy, including electronic delivery of services and electronic submissions. As outlined in the Implementation Plan, this project will be accomplished in phases through the use of implementation teams, phased training for staff as they enter reengineered processes, and pilot projects to initiate and further refine the reengineered processes.
The Office will also collaborate with the Library of Congress to obtain essential space designs and reconfigurations and to develop an organizational package.
- Form remaining four implementation teams
- Define remaining four processes: Register Claims, Acquire Deposits, Record Documents, Answer Requests
- Continue collaboration with LC Library Services on issues of joint interest in reengineered processes
- Initiate pilots where appropriate
- Complete organizational package
- Prepare Position Descriptions
- Recommend position classifications
- Refine organizational structure proposed in BPR report
- Identify training needs for new processes
- Initiate discussions with labor organizations on impacts of reengineered processes
- Prepare baseline space assessment
- Complete training plan
- Hire designer to redesign space
- Install 30 new workstations
- Upgrade 200 workstations
- Modify HVAC for two areas
- Purchase / install 30 new PCs
- Wire 200 workstations
- Train 200 staff
- Move 200 staff into new processes
- Hire designer to redesign space
- Upgrade 200 more workstations
- Wire 200 more workstations
- Train 200 more staff
- Move 200 more staff into new processes
- Post-BPR implementation evaluation
The collection, processing, storage and presentation of information are essential for the Copyright Office to fulfill its duties under title 17. Information processing and products are critical in the registration of claims to copyright, the recordation of documents pertaining to copyrighted works, the administration of statutory licenses, and the Office's responsibilities as an agency of public record. Access to information is also important for the substantive policy and regulatory work the Office performs for the U.S. Congress and the executive branch.
Two principle factors will shape Copyright Office information technology (IT) planning in the coming years. First, in order to serve its customers fully and efficiently, the Office must provide its services online to the greatest extent possible. Second, the Business Process Reengineering implementation plan requires new IT initiatives and/or redesign of current systems.
The results of the Office's reengineering work have shown that the Office must accelerate the use of new technology, not only for the processes affected by reengineering but for the entire Office. The Office must make a fundamental transformation in its public services from paper and hard copy-based processing to primarily electronic processing. Copyright Office processes must change from traditional manual capabilities to IT-enabled functions. The Copyright Office's separate information systems need to be unified in an integrated package of interoperable modules.
The outcomes of a more robust IT environment include faster and more accurate service to the public, more efficient and effective use of resources, and support of the Library's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program through increased acquisition of digital works that can be made available for the Library of Congress collections.
To best fulfill its statutory mandate, the Copyright Office requires information technology systems that are interoperable, robust, and secure. These systems should:
leverage information technology to increase the efficiency of Copyright Office business practices and the timeliness of service to the public;
allow for electronic processing of registrations and deposits and, ultimately, of recordations;
provide user-friendly Internet access to Copyright Office public records and information;
provide administrative applications that increase Office productivity, including management of Office documentation;
support the Office's policy and regulatory work by providing technology that will rapidly access current news and reference sources;
- allow for interoperability with Library of Congress systems so that data can be shared.
The Copyright Office will make a strategic transformation to electronic delivery of services while remaining capable of manipulating hard copy objects within that electronic environment.
In FY2001 the Office implemented a new management structure for IT through the creation of the Information Technology Oversight Group to coordinate all Copyright Office IT development and projects. The group developed an action plan for the Office's existing systems; developed a request, approved by the House and Senate, for reprogramming of funds for the IT initiative; prepared a statement of work for an IT requirements contract; and awarded the contract to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Office has positioned itself to create an integrated IT environment concurrently with the reengineering effort.
The performance goals for this effort are to enable the online provision of Copyright Office services to the public, accelerate the Copyright Office's ability to conduct most transactions with remitters and their representatives in an electronic format, and implement information technology improvements for internal processes.
Information Technology planning and development will be accomplished through a broad-based Copyright Office Information Technology Oversight Group which will:
- develop statements of work and select contractors who will define an IT strategy, devise an implementation plan, develop IT systems, and evaluate those systems as they are installed and in use;
- oversee all Copyright Office information technology projects.
- consult with the Library of Congress to coordinate functioning of new IT systems with existing and anticipated Library systems and to develop effective digital asset management.
- Complete IT requirements analysis
- Develop an IT strategy and implementation plan that defines concurrent development paths using a multiple award contract with task order processing; organize the plan around the functional requirements needed to support the BPR implementation plan
- Complete a statement of work and select contractors for multiple contracts to design new IT systems
- Begin information systems design
- Continue information systems design and prepare specifications that support functions including data capture through electronic receipt, scanning, and character recognition; routing of service requests; tracking of workflow; correspondence processing; flow of scanned images through processing steps to certificate production; enhancement of the data tracking record into a comprehensive historical record; movement of materials to / from secure repositories and access to the full complement of copyright records and materials in accordance with the provisions of the copyright code
- Continue to buy or develop systems based on the specifications; test, implement, and evaluate these systems
- Develop additional new systems to implement reengineered processes and IT strategy; test, implement, and evaluate these systems.
BPR and IT Milestones FY2001FY2005
|Business Process Reengineering|
Strategic Plan | Chapter 4