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2/6/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB eyes electronic postings to promote public access to filings


Surface Transportation Board Feb. 6 announced plans to post and make available all procedural documents and correspondence — except those marked confidential — on its Web site to increase the public's accessibility to the data, and changes to the board's document-filing procedures to better facilitate electronic postings.
STB plans to make available all substantive and procedural documents via the "Filings" link on its home page, and enable users to search filings by filing date or docket number, as well as view, print and download documents. Confidential documents would be searchable on the site, but users wouldn't be able to view, print or download the filings; only STB members and staff would be granted access.
The board annually processes about 3,000 filings from law firms, businesses, governmental agencies and the general public. Current filings can be viewed only at STB's headquarters in their original, paper form or as microfiche about 45 days after the filing date. However, the board for the past year has made available certain filings on its site.
To ease the filing upload process, STB amended its document-filing rules by adopting paper and print standards designed to ensure high-quality images, and providing adequate contrast for scanning, viewing and reproduction.


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