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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

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Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

June 15, 2003

GP 3.16/3-2:24/07
(Vol. 24, no. 07)

GPO and OMB Reach Innovative New Solution for Federal Printing

GPO and the Office of Management and Budget announced a new printing procurement agreement on June 6, 2003. Under the agreement, OMB will choose a single Federal agency for a one-year demonstration project which will begin in October 2003. GPO will establish contracts that allow the participating agency to purchase printing services directly from a variety of contractors. A "win-win" solution, these contracts will allow the agency more flexibility in contracting for printing while reducing the number of fugitive documents.

Public access to Government information should be enhanced by improving compliance with the requirements of Title 44 U.S. Code. The agreement provides a long-sought compliance mechanism by making the provision of print and electronic copies to the Superintendent of Documents a requirement for payment of the printing contractor. GPO's news release and the text of the GPO-OMB "compact" follow.

GPO News Release

June 6, 2003

Public Printer of the United States Bruce R. James and Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. today jointly announced an innovative agreement that will free executive branch agencies to choose their own printers while saving taxpayer dollars. The agreement will also empower the GPO to maximize public access to Federal information.

"Today's announcement is a victory for the American taxpayer," said OMB Director Daniels. "It builds on a competitive experiment that led GPO to print this year's Federal budget at a savings of 23 percent. Federal agencies will now be empowered to select printers that provide the best deal for the taxpayers' dollar. At the same time, this agreement strikes a blow against the long-standing 'fugitive documents' problem, in which roughly half of all government documents currently do not make it into the Federal Depository Library Program."

"We are extraordinarily pleased to join in this agreement with OMB," said Public Printer James. "It frees Federal agencies to competitively choose their own printers and creates a system to provide the American public with better access to more government information than ever before. The government is now moving the way private sector has been moving, relying increasingly on electronic information technology to create and disseminate information products. The agreement we've reached with OMB recognizes this trend by using technology to increase public access to information while providing a system for efficiently managing the buying of the government's declining printing needs, within the framework of current law."

"On behalf of researchers and library users in all types of libraries, the American Library Association welcomes ideas that can improve permanent public access to government information, eliminate fugitive documents, and enhance the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). We believe this agreement will lead to more and better access to the important information published by the Federal government," said Dr. Carla Hayden, the incoming President of the American Library Association and Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland.

Private sector printers also welcomed the joint announcement. Ben Cooper, Executive Vice President of Printing Industries of America, said, "The Printing Industry of America is pleased with the agreement that the GPO and OMB have worked out to address Federal printing and print procurement. We have worked closely with OMB and Public Printer James on a new print procurement model and we believe this announcement marks a new era in Federal printing policy and information distribution. We look forward to working with GPO during this transition period to assure the industry serves the taxpayers' needs.



between the Office Of Management and Budget and the U.S. Government Printing Office

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) share certain common goals. Both agencies seek to develop a mechanism that will allow Federal agencies direct access to printing vendors for the purpose of placing printing orders, while at the same time enabling the GPO to meet its statutory requirements. Both agencies seek to reduce the cost of Federal printing and to ensure the permanent public access to all non-classified government publications.

In furtherance of these goals OMB and GPO agree to take the following steps:

By October 1, 2003, GPO will develop a demonstration print procurement contract, similar to a GSA Federal Supply Schedule, for a Federal department or agency of OMB's choosing. The contract will feature a front-end electronic system utilizing the World Wide Web that will allow Federal customers a one-stop, integrated, print ordering and invoicing system for all print jobs. Any registered printer in the country would be free to submit a price quote on any job placed in the system. The Federal customer would then select a printer, using either lowest price or best value techniques.

In support of this contract, GPO will register and qualify printers for participation in the contract and offer 24/7 customer and printer support. In addition, GPO will offer, on a cost recovery basis, additional printing procurement services, including responsibility determination, specification development, technical and design assistance and press inspections.

Agencies will have authority to address issues of quality, time of delivery, and other performance issues directly with the printers they select. Payments will be routed through GPO to private printers, with agencies approving them before they are made.

Vendors participating in the contract would pledge to provide their "most favored customer pricing" to Federal customers and offer a 3% trade discount, during the demonstration project, to fund the operating costs of the contract. The amount of the trade discount once deployed government wide will be reviewed for possible future reduction. The Superintendent of Documents, at its expense, will continue to have access to publications produced under this contract for public distribution. As a condition of payment, vendors would be required to provide GPO with one electronic version of every document ordered under the contract in a format acceptable to GPO and two paper copies, in order to meet the requirements of Chapter 19 of Title 44. U.S. Code.

To ensure that agency printing work is channeled through the new competitive procurement process, the Executive Branch will substantially limit the circumstances where agencies may rely on in-house or other Executive Branch printing operations. OMB will seek audits and, where appropriate, review by Inspectors General.

A demonstration project will begin in FY2004, and the competitive procurement process will be deployed government-wide in FY2005.

OMB and GPO will work with the FAR Council to ensure that appropriate regulatory changes are made to reflect these new arrangements.

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