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 DAYTON, Ohio, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Mead Data Central Inc. (MDC) is offering greatly expanded pricing flexibility and cost predictability to federal government customers who use its LEXIS(R)/NEXIS(R) information services.
 The Fiscal Year 1994 contract with the Federal Library and Information Network, or FEDLINK, became effective Oct. 1. It is an extension of a multi-year contract negotiated with the Contracts and Logistics Division of the U.S. Library of Congress on behalf of all participating federal agencies. MDC began delivering its services to the federal government through FEDLINK in 1976.
 The FEDLINK contract, valued at an estimated $25 million, includes a modest price increase, the effect of which will be lessened by improved price discounts and new ease-of-use features that help users to search more efficiently.
 "We have been listening with great care to our federal customers as they have communicated their requirements for product and price options, and we are responding," said Mert McGill, vice president of Government Information Services for Mead Data Central. Recognizing the importance of public sector customers, Mead Data Central created McGill's group in late summer to improve service to the government.
 McGill said the creation of a government business operation within Mead Data Central "is a manifestation of our determination to provide superior value to public sector entities. This action coincides with two public events that highlight the evolving relationship between the private and public sectors."
 The first is the publication of recent recommendations made in Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review calling for "re- inventing, re-thinking and re-doing government."
 "Part of that re-thinking involves recognizing that government is far better served by private sector vendors such as Mead Data Central who, in the heat of private sector competition, are better able to respond to government customers' needs than government agency providers," McGill said.
 The second event is a case in point in which West Publishing Company, another supplier of computerized legal research services, announced on Sept. 30 that it would not renew its license to the Department of Justice to provide the core databases of JURIS, the department's in-house computerized legal research system, which included West's proprietary federal case reports and headnotes.
 MDC's FEDLINK contract illustrates that private sector vendors such as Mead Data Central are eminently capable of supplying quality service to public sector agencies at competitive prices, according to McGill.
 In its contract, Mead Data Central has agreed that all FEDLINK customers with as few as 10 hours of usage a month now are eligible for additional discounts beyond their regularly discounted prices.
 The contract also contains a special pricing option called GOVCAP for large volume government users of the LEXIS/NEXIS services that allows for 24-hour access for a predetermined number of users. Originally developed in partnership with a few federal government agencies, GOVCAP eliminates the cost variability of "pay per use" pricing plans and substitutes a fixed, predictable price that allows for more precise departmental budgeting.
 In response to the federal government's cost-cutting efforts, MDC has expanded GOVCAP to allow an agency or department to select portions or "slices" of the LEXIS/NEXIS services that its researchers use most often. Previously, GOVCAP was only available for the entirety of the LEXIS/NEXIS services.
 "The expanded pricing flexibility is just one example of how we will be working with customers to meet their needs," McGill said. "We believe the pricing plan offers significant benefits to budget-conscious agencies."
 The additional discounts and other improvements that make the LEXIS service easier to use will mitigate most or all of a five-percent price increase included in this contract, according to McGill. MDC estimates that some of the improved service features -- such as faster telecommunications networks, quicker response to search requests and online aids for greater efficiency in searching -- alone result in a three- to four-percent decrease in searching costs.
 LEXIS is the world's leading full-text computer-assisted legal research service, with case law from state, federal and international courts, statutes, and specialized law libraries. NEXIS is a computer- assisted electronic information service offering full-text articles from the world's leading news and business sources and is the exclusive on- line source of The New York Times. Mead Data Central, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mead Corporation (NYSE: MEA), a leader in forest products and electronic publishing. Both companies have headquarters in Dayton, Ohio.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: Judi Schultz of Mead Data Central, 513-865-7466/

CO: Mead Data Central Inc. ST: Ohio IN: CPR PUB SU: CON

AR -- CL010 -- 0091 10/08/93 11:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993

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