U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Annual Report 2002: Reengineering

Building on last year’s planning efforts, the Office made significant progress in its reengineering initiative.

The Copyright Office continued its extensive multi-year effort to reengineer its principal public services for the purposes of providing Copyright Office services online, ensuring prompt availability of new copyright records, providing better tracking of individual items in the workflow, and increasing acquisition of digital works for the Library of Congress collections.

The reengineering program has involved over 200 staff in redesign of Copyright Office work processes, and included unprecedented cooperative efforts with the Library of Congress’ Library Services. In fy 2002, the Office moved from a planning/redesign phase into the intensive implementation phase that runs from fy 2003 through fy 2005. The reengineering work proceeded on four fronts: process, organization, facilities, and information technology.

The Four Fronts of Reengineering

Reengineering is moving forward on four fronts:

Process: Redesign of the Office’s core processes of registering claims, recording documents, answering requests, acquiring deposits for Library of Congress collections, receiving mail, and maintaining accounts

Organization: Development of a revised organizational structure centered on the new processes, with new job descriptions focused on the requirements of those processes

Facilities: Reconfiguration of Copyright Office space so that space relationships support movement of work through the processes

Information Technology: Development of new integrated systems to permit primarily electronic processing of copyright services


The Copyright Process Reengineering Team presented redesign recommendations for the new processes and the new organization to support those processes in fy 2001. The affected processes are registering claims, recording documents, acquiring deposited works for the Library of Congress, answering public requests, receiving mail, and maintaining accounts. The implementation of the Team’s recommendations continued in fy 2002 with the assistance and facilitation of the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). During fy 2002, the process teams for all six processes defined their processes to an operational level and drafted procedures manuals.


Organization teams for each process developed a proposed reorganization structure and job roles incorporating cross-training and rotational opportunities. A high-level training plan, developed with process owners, identified likely training needs of Copyright Office staff for the new processes. The Office began an intensive evaluation of the draft reorganization package in the fiscal year’s last quarter.


The Copyright Office accomplished several key steps toward facilities redesign in fy 2002. The Office completed a baseline space assessment in February and a furniture and furnishings inventory in September. These steps will support a redesign of the Office’s existing space to accommodate the new processes.

Information Technology (IT)

Information technology is critical in the registration of claims to copyright, the recordation of documents pertaining to copyrighted works, statutory licenses, and the Office’s responsibilities as an agency of public record.

In July 2001, the Office issued a request for quotation for contract assistance to complete an IT requirements analysis. This was the first step in the process of building IT systems that will support the reengineered business processes and allow the Office to provide more services electronically. Work on the analysis was initiated in October 2001. Major accomplishments on the IT front during Fiscal Year 2002 included completion of the following:
  • an assessment of the needs of processes not included in the reengineering effort
  • a report of options and recommendations for logical system components
  • a framework of functional specifications for logical system components
  • a report on recommended hardware and software
These products formed the basis for initial sequence planning in preparation for letting contracts for the purchase of off-the-shelf components, development of new components, and their integration into a single electronic system to support Copyright Office services.

Staff Communications and Interaction with the Library of Congress

Communications with staff about reengineering implementation continued through several vehicles: the new reengineering newsletter, ReNews, first published in April 2002; stakeholder meetings with staff and managers within the Office, in affected areas of the Library of Congress’ Library Services, and with infrastructure support units; hallway chats; all-staff meetings; the posting of updates and information on a reengineering Intranet website; and articles in Copyright Notices and the Library of Congress Gazette.

The Copyright Office and Library Services formed Joint Issue Groups in fy 2002 to discuss and present recommendations for cooperation in five areas of interaction between the two organizations—serials processing, labeling, cataloging, selection, and the Library’s opening of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA. These Joint Issue Groups were comprised of representatives from both service units, and met throughout the year to develop their recommendations. The Labeling Group proposed significant changes in how works are identified (the Management section of this report details the security-related work of this group). The Selection Group suggested that routine selection decisions be performed by Copyright Office staff. The remaining Joint Issue Groups were continuing their work at the end of fy 2002.

Because the four fronts of reengineering affect areas not reviewed in the original reengineering study, the Office decided to study Licensing Division processes, organization, and information technology to make recommendations for changes to provide more effective handling of its licensing and royalty responsibilities. The reengineering of the Licensing Division can benefit from already completed work on receive mail, maintain accounts, record documents, and answer requests.

The fiscal year ended with the formation of a reengineering program organization (RPO) within the Copyright Office, managing both the business process reengineering and information technology efforts. The formation of this group consolidates into one program the responsibility for all four fronts of the reengineering effort: process, organization, facilities, and information technology. Each of the four fronts can be distinguished as projects that comprise the larger reengineering program, but they interrelate and have inherent dependencies on one another. The staff of the RPO will coordinate these four fronts using an Integrated Implementation Plan. The RPO staff met in September to plan reengineering implementation sequencing. A Library of Congress Advisory Committee was formed to offer advice on implementation issues. In addition, the Office developed plans to form an Information Technology Technical Review Board (ITTRB), composed of six members with IT expertise from government and private industry, to provide outside perspectives and experiences concerning large-scale complex IT implementations.

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