GPO Targeted by OMB
Many of the printers who procure jobs via the GPO are smaller shops, and the prevailing theory is that in having agencies and departments bid out their jobs, only larger printers with sales forces in a particular city will have access to these bids.
Ben Cooper, executive vice president for the Printing Industries of America, expressed his concerns regarding the printing procurement process in a letter to Daniels. Cooper wrote that, even with the fees, the GPO is "generally able to buy printing at the lowest possible price."
Cooper suggested several areas for possible change, including the development of printing and publishing plans as part of the federal budget process, as well as a plan for printing procurement within the executive branch that assures fair and open competition.
Cooper also noted that many contracts are presently awarded based strictly on the lowest bid, and agencies could find better overall packages through "best value" contracts.
William Gindlesperger, founder and president of ABC Advisors, a bid solicitation service, is confident that, in the end, smaller printers won't be shut out of government jobs. "OMB doesn't want to send all those little printers to the wolves," he says.
Gindlesperger feels the OMB will produce regulations that are fair to both the agencies and small printers. The GPO, he says, will reinvent itself and "come up with a methodology to better service its customers.
"OMB, GPO and the agencies all have their hearts in the right places and want to do the right thing," he adds. "In the end, the right thing will be done."