Friday, March 9, 2012

RPAC Petition Fails to Meet Signature Threshold

The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) is a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. It has as its mission: “To advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.”

Of major concern to RPAC are ongoing efforts that could lead to closing, or severely limiting, access by the public to the "Social Security Death Index" (SSDI). RPAC created a petition on the government’s “We the People” website for genealogists and other interested individuals to sign. It was hoped that the “Stop Identity Theft NOW!” petition would obtain 25,000 signatures by March 8. A check of the We the People website reveals that the RPAC petition has expired and has been removed from the website “...because it failed to meet the signature threshold.”

An informative article on RPAC’s efforts, “Genealogists want to keep access to Death Index” by Sharon Tate Moody, was published February 26, 2012 - just prior to the petition’s expiration. To access the article click on the following URL (or copy and paste into your web browser):

Persons desiring to learn more about the "Social Security Administration’s Death Master File" and its process for distributing death records should read testimony provided at a Congressional hearing on February 2nd by the Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration. To access, click on the following URL (or copy and paste into your web browser):

Since the issue regarding the availability of the Social Security Death Index is yet to be resolved, RPAC’s efforts are expected to continue. To monitor, click on the following URL (or copy and paste into your web browser):

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