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News Release


Life-saving Search and Rescue System Wins Top Honours: Agatha Bystram Award Given to Canadian Forces Captain

(Ottawa, November 3, 2003) - In recognition of his outstanding contribution to information resources management, Library and Archives Canada and the Council of Federal Libraries have selected Captain Rob Mulholland, a Canadian Forces helicopter pilot, as winner of the 2003 Agatha Bystram Award for Leadership in Information Management. The Awards ceremony was held today at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, on the occasion of the Annual Fall Seminar of the Council of Federal Libraries.

In the past 12 months as project manager, Captain Rob Mulholland has defined, integrated and managed a critical system that radically modernizes the delivery of Canada's search and rescue services.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Captain Mulholland for his remarkable work," said Roch Carrier, National Librarian and Chair of the Council of Federal Libraries. "Captain Mulholland should be congratulated for his dedication and commitment to integrating and managing this critical system which will help Canada's search and rescue services save thousands of lives."

The new Search and Rescue Mission Management system is an effective and efficient national system that enables the recording and retrieval of vital information and task-appropriate resources in life-saving rescue missions. Captain Mulholland's leadership in blending information management and technology enhances the real-time communications between a number of government departments and agencies involved in delivering search and rescue services.

"Captain Mulholland has accomplished an extraordinary task in defining, integrating and managing a critical system that has fundamentally modernized the way rescue centres control Canada's search and rescue services," said Lt.Col. G.Y. Smith, A3 Search and Rescue Manger, who nominated Captain Mulholland. "His expertise, insight and outstanding dedication and leadership were demonstrated in this very important project that has now become the pride of the search and rescue community across the country."

The improvement in information management is important in evaluating future search and rescue techniques and procedures and enables a more efficient method of notifying rescue crews, reducing launch times and rendering assistance where and when required. The system runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is the principal operational tool with which all federal search and rescue operations are managed in Canada.

Library of Parliament staff members Katie Hobbins, Peter Niemczak, Maureen Martyn and Denis Fournier received honourable mention for the Agatha Bystram Award as did Carmen Krogh from the Pesticide Regulatory Management Agency of Health Canada.

Instituted by the Council of Federal Libraries in 1995, the Agatha Bystram Award recognizes the contribution of Agatha Bystram, one of the federal library community's most respected pioneers in the management of federal information. The Award is presented each year to federal government employees who are innovators in the management of federal information resources.

The 2003 Agatha Bystram Award jury includes National Library Director-General Paul McCormick, Information Management Consultant John McDonald, Université de Montréal Associate Professor Pierrette Bergeron, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Chief Information Officer and Director-General, Greta Bossenmaier.

Competia and Microsoft Canada Inc. are the main sponsors of this year's Agatha Bystram Award.

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Information:

Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations
Library and Archives Canada
media@lac-bac.gc.ca