Public Printer Charts Future Course of GPO

WASHINGTON, DC—Appearing before the House Legislative Appropriations Subcommittee recently, U.S. Public Printer Bruce R. James laid out the future of the Government Printing Office (GPO).

“I intend to do my best to uphold the tradition of the office while providing the leadership to guide the GPO into a new era, to ensure that it remains as relevant and necessary to the information needs of Congress, federal agencies and the public in the 21st century as it was for the first 140 years of its existence,” said James during his funding request for fiscal year 2004.

“I have begun to carry out that promise,” noted James, citing major changes in GPO’s organization, training policy, employee communications, work force restructuring, customer service, strategic and contingency planning, and technology review.

Pointing to the declining volume of printing handled by the GPO and the growing workload in electronic information databases, he vowed to lead the transformation of the GPO into a cutting-edge enterprise designed to “capture digitally, organize, maintain, authenticate, distribute and provide permanent public access to the information products and services of the federal government.”

For the annual congressional printing and binding appropriation, the GPO is requesting an increase of 1.7 percent over current year funding to fully cover Congress’ legislative printing needs, including the Congressional Record, bills, reports, hearings, documents and related products required for the legislative process.

For the salaries and expenses appropriation of the superintendent of documents, which covers the Federal Depository Library Program, GPO Access and other government information dissemination programs, the GPO is asking for an increase of 3 percent to cover mandatory pay and benefits increases, as well as price level changes.

For the salaries and expenses appropriation, James cited the need for $4.1 million to replace obsolete technology used by the GPO Access system by upgrading its search and retrieval system, now nearly a decade old.

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