GPO Defends Outsourcing Choices
WASHINGTON, DC—The Government Printing Office (GPO) fired back at a series of stories that appeared recently in the Washington Times regarding security concerns for electronic passports produced outside the country, as well as the accusation that the amount of profits GPO reaped exceeded limits by law.
According to the paper, the GPO chose two European computer chip makers to produce millions of electronic passports. The passports are being assembled in Thailand by a company that was allegedly a victim of Chinese economic espionage, the report said.
In its response, the GPO said there weren’t any U.S. companies that manufactured integrated circuits which met ICAO standards and/or rigorous testing. It also pointed out that the GPO is required by Title 44 to undergo an annual audit conducted by an outside firm. As part of the audit, GPO management is required to make certain written representations ensuring the agency is in compliance with laws and regulations.