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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
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FOREWORD

With limited staff, the Maryland Manual traces the origins, functions, and key personnel of State
government agencies over time. To facilitate the annual review of the State budget, the same staff outlines
the organizational structure of agencies through the Organization of Maryland State Government,
prepared each summer for the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning. Such basic information about
local government offices, though necessary for their effective functioning, is not readily accessible.

The Maryland Manual provides a means for analyzing and evaluating State government. But the
functions and budget of State government daily enmesh with those of local government. Thus, to
understand and administer State government requires a base from which to learn more about local
jurisdictions. A Maryland Manual volume on local government could constitute that essential base if
funding were available.

Government, over time, creates community resources. They are evident in the organizational charts
of local government introduced in this new Maryland Manual. They include institutions, such as schools
and libraries; and facilities, such as parks and senior citizen information and assistance centers. These
shared resources took much work and many years to create. As public investments, they are our strength.
As public resources placed in the service of the community or nation, they should be noted for their
excellence. In its own way, the Maryland Manual is such a resource.

Although we cannot predict how community resources will be used, we do know, from our experience,
that they will be needed. In anticipation of that need, this year, the Manual takes another form. The
Maryland Manual, 1994-1995 is the first edition to be created and, soon, to be made available in a totally
electronic format. This means that not only the text but also the digital image files created in-house will
enable us to provide electronic access to the Manual's content. The Manual also will become available
to Marylanders through computers via modems in their homes, libraries, or schools by means of the
computer network—"Sailor"—assembled over the last year by the Division of Library Development and
Services in the State Department of Education. With a new electronic Maryland Manual soon to be
available, Maryland government information may travel easily through computers, via modems and
compact disks to schools and libraries in Baltimore City, Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore, and every
part of this State.

A resource tool like this may be used in unanticipated ways as well. For example, in addition to the
direct value of the information presented to Marylanders in each edition, the Manual has been used
overseas to illustrate the nature of Maryland government. In April 1994, Clarke R. Williams, a budget
analyst with the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning was chosen for a technical assistance mission
to the Union of South Africa. There, the United States Agency for International Development sponsored
management training for South African state and local government officials. During this two-week
program, Mr. Williams helped explain the executive budget process. He distributed Maryland Manuals
to the participants so they could relate the functions of government to fiscal administration.

Information is a public resource. But information created today and stored in electronic formats is
highly fragile. We need to pay close attention to how it is maintained and managed, and provide for its
conservation and preservation. This applies not only to daily information processing but to those records
of government which have historical, legal, fiscal, administrative or other archival values. We need to
ensure that permanently valuable records, including electronic records, are preserved and made accessible.
If that information is to survive beyond this century—to become the resource upon which future
generations will draw—we need to act now and allocate funds wisely for this purpose.

The State Archives, by law, is responsible for preserving and making accessible those records of
government which have permanent value. In other words, we are charged with maintaining a public
resource—the memory of government—for the benefit of this and coming generations. To preserve the
historical record, the State Archives has no choice but to engage in the electronic world of information
technology. We must ensure that machine-readable records will indeed be readable in the future.

Edward C. Papenfuse

State Archivist &
June 1994 Commissioner of Land Patents

 

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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
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