Control of the Knowledge IndustryYour analysis of the forthcoming transformation of higher education in "Companies Dig for California Gold" (WT, July 24) illuminated the battle for control of the k

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FOIA is a Vital Law

I read your Freedom of Information Act article in the last newspaper (WT, Aug. 7) with great interest. The writer expertly explained many FOIA issues.

However, many were not explained. FOIA can be an excellent tool to stop sole-source orders, which are about 40 percent of federal spending and far more often than not are being done contrary to the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Agencies have asked [me] to FOIA information from other agencies since "sister" agencies often forget the kinship. We even have a monograph which presents what we think is a more balanced view of the pros and cons of FOIA.

Your columnist seems to be saying that it is not a good thing to obtain another's contract after award. I would submit it's not only a good thing for the vendor, it keeps the process more honest and competitive.

And, since GWAC [governmentwide agency contract], FACNET awards and all General Services Administration schedule contracts are public, I can't really get excited with the concept that requests for proposals should be unrevealed after award.

FOIA is a vital law for the proper functioning of democracy. Problems? Yes, but still vital.

Terry Miller
President Government Sales Consultants Inc., Great Falls, Va.


Control of the Knowledge Industry

Your analysis of the forthcoming transformation of higher education in "Companies Dig for California Gold" (WT, July 24)
illuminated the battle for control of the knowledge industry. The interviews documented educators' fear for the future of college and university education and provided insight into industry's strategy to dominate education services.

The article is an alert to Washington businesses that traditionally have led training technology - businesses that know more about teaching and learning than the consortium's selling to California State Universities and the California Virtual University.

This is award-winning reporting of immediate value to your readers.

Jim Farmer
Systems Research Inc., Guthrie, Okla.


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