New York bill explores 'vendor neutral' electronic documents

Interest in digital documents continues with a New York state bill proposing to study preservation of electronic documents.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

New York appears to be the latest state concerned with the long-term accessibility of its digital documents.

RoAnn Destito, chair of the Governmental Operations committee in the New York State Assembly, introduced a bill on Wednesday to study "production and preservation" of the state's electronic documents.

The study's director would investigate how access to "electronic data can be created, maintained, exchanged and preserved by the state in a manner that encourages appropriate government control, access, choice, interoperability and vendor neutrality."

The bill also recommends that New York confer with other states' electronic document strategies.

Policies addressing open documents have been a hot-button issue over the past two years, prompted largely by Massachusetts' decision to mandate the use of products that use an open, standardized document format.

A recent review of other state legislatures' open-document plans found that none had advanced to a point where it would be passed as law, apart from California, which one industry observer called a "work in progress."

The New York bill calls for results of the study to be presented in January.