Aug. 1, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Campus Notebook: A Settlement Pattern

Library of Congress officials want to enter settlement talks with Theresa Papademetriou, a senior foreign law specialist whose lawsuit claims that a former law librarian routinely sexually harassed female employees.

Last month, attorneys for Papademetriou and the Library jointly filed a motion to stay court proceedings for 90 days “for the parties to engage in settlement negotiations.”

“The parties have conferred and are interested in exploring the possibility of settlement of the matter prior to any further judicial proceedings,” the motion states. The judge has not yet issued an order.

Former Law Librarian Rubens Medina spent 14 years overseeing the nation’s largest law collection. He retired in 2008, and the agency replaced him in August with Roberta Shaffer.

According to Papademetriou’s lawsuit, Medina sexually harassed employees for years, intimidating his female co-workers by touching them inappropriately and interjecting conversations with sexual innuendos.

In 2002, Medina was the subject of another sexual discrimination case: An applicant for the director of legal research claimed that in her interview Medina “inquired about her ability to work with people from different cultures who might not have a tradition of equal opportunity for women.”

The Library eventually settled, paying $230,000.

Bipartisan Accounting. Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas) want the next head of the Government Accountability Office to be a certified public accountant.

The two introduced a bill last month requiring that the current vacant comptroller general position only be filled with someone who is a licensed CPA.

As Congress’ watchdog, the GAO conducts audits on federal agencies, along with other oversight functions. Its 3,000 analysts produce thousands of reports every year. However, in fiscal 2009, only 6 percent of the agency’s work was financial auditing, according to a GAO spokesman.

A Congressional panel is currently finalizing a list of recommended

candidates to fill the position left vacant when former Comptroller General David Walker left for the private sector in 2008. Once the panel sends the list to the White House, President Barack Obama can nominate a candidate from the list or one of his own choosing.

Open Rules. Starting today, federal regulations will be available in XML format, allowing the public to more easily search and access the rules of federal agencies.

The Government Printing Office converted the 226-volume Code of Federal Regulations with the National Archives Office of the Federal Registrar. Now, instead of simply downloading a PDF, users can mine the data for use in applications.

“It’s really an attempt to enhance the openness and transparency of federal documents,” said Mike Wash, the chief information officer of the GPO. “Advanced users,” he said, are able to pull information from XML files and disseminate it to the public.

For example, govpulse.us uses the XML format of the Federal Register to create an application that organizes documents and makes them easier to find.

Greener and Greener. The Capitol will get almost $17 million in facility infrastructure upgrades over the next two years, thanks to a partnership with a private company.

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