Slow News From Commerce

Reporters waiting for an outbreak of news at the Commerce Department shouldn't expect it to be delivered promptly by the International Trade Administration's new e-mail alert.

A bulletin on Commerce Secretary William M. Daley's coming Latin American trip ambled across the Internet on April 18--a week and a half after the department's faxed version. An April 9 speech by outgoing Commerce official Stuart E. Eizenstat was also sent out via computer--12 days after the fact.

"We're dealing with something new and trying to improve it," said a Commerce aide (who took a mere 69 minutes to respond--by telephone--to an inquiry).

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