Public Printer Gets Favorable Committee Vote, Testifies at Hearings

WASHINGTON, DC—May 12, 2011—The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee voted favorably on the nomination of Public Printer William J. “Bill” Boarman out of committee and to the full Senate for consideration. President Barack Obama renominated Public Printer Boarman in January.

President Obama first appointed Boarman on Dec. 29, 2010, during a recess of the Senate. Boarman has been serving as the CEO of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) since Jan.3, 2011. He is the 26th Public Printer of the United States.

The first-ever survey of every congressional office on their need for printed products was just one of the topics that Boarman discussed at hearings by the House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Committee on House Administration. Boarman explained how the GPO has transformed itself into a digital information platform for the entire Federal Government.

Developed and administered by GPO, the online survey asks member, committee and other offices in the Senate and House about their needs for the daily Congressional Record, the Congressional Record Index, and other publications.

Even though there are proposals to reduce Congressional printing, 70 percent of the cost reportedly is for the prepress functions to create the digital version of those publications. A more detailed explanation is illustrated in this video:

Testifying before the Oversight Subcommittee on his return to GPO after 35 years, Public Printer Boarman said, “It was like the ‘Tale of Two Cities’—it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I found a workforce dedicated and highly trained and committed to GPO’s mission. I am so proud to be able to lead them each day as they accomplish amazing things for their customers and especially Congress every day.”

“At the same time, I found an agency where overhead costs had mushroomed by 50 percent in the past five years. I found an agency top heavy with senior-level managers, some of whom spent what was in my opinion an excessive amount of time on travel, including an astonishing amount of travel overseas…And there was a growing volume of uncollected bills to Federal agencies that GPO seemed unable to resolve. This pattern of excessive spending and costs was simply unsustainable.”

To begin addressing these problems, Boarman said, “we cut our appropriations request for FY 2012 by more than $5 million from what was originally submitted to OMB late last year. We cut GPO’s annual spending plan as previously submitted to the Joint Committee on Printing by $15 million. We reduced the number of senior-level managers. We implemented controls on hiring, travel, and related discretionary accounts to stem the flow of spending in these areas…We created a task force to recover outstanding payments from Federal agencies…We worked with the appropriations committees to resolve our funding for FY 2011 at about $135.1 million. This is a significant reduction from the continuing level of $147.4 million and a far cry from the $166.6 million requested by previous GPO management a year ago.”