In Public Printer William Boarman’s Facebook response (http://www.groundreport.com/Business/One-Bite-at-the-Apple-An-Opportunity-for-the-New-P_2/2934101) this week to an article about increasing the flow of work from federal agencies to private sector printers, he hit the nail on the head according to William Gindlesperger, chairman and chief executive officer of e-LYNXX Corporation. “Mr. Boarman assured the thousands of private sector printers who depend on GPO that printing will continue to be procured under his guardianship,” Gindlesperger said.
Printing jobs valued at more than $358 million were awarded in 2010 by GPO on behalf of the Executive Office of the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, executive departments and independent federal agencies. Boarman, in his comments, said that work valued at many times that amount could and should be channeled through GPO to an industry that has historically produced 75% plus of GPO’s printing (with the remaining portion produced by GPO’s own printing shop). Gindlesperger said the difficulty is that federal agencies have pulled printing in house rather than sending it to GPO under the requirements of Title 44 of the U.S. Code. That Code states that all federal agencies are to use the GPO to obtain their printing.
There would be even more work for private sector printers if federal agencies adhered to Title 44: Boarman stated: “Data recently published by the Office of Management and Budget as part of the FY 2012 budget shows about $1.4 billion in direct obligations for printing and reproduction for the Federal Government for fiscal year 2010. Excluding GPO’s component of $104 million for congressional work and printing for our Superintendent of Documents, this leaves nearly $1.3 billion in direct printing obligations for the rest of the Government. GPO’s procurement revenue last year was about $500 million, or about 40% of these direct obligations, leaving a balance of about $800 million that did not come through GPO. Our sense is that it most likely represents work produced in-house by Federal agencies. That’s a significant volume of printing which, if opened up to GPO’s procurement program where costs could be reduced by as much as 50% compared with agency plants, represents a potential annual savings of up to $400 million for the taxpayers. More private sector jobs will be needed to handle that additional volume of work flowing through the procurement program, which will help our Nation’s economic recovery.”
Gindlesperger said numbers reported by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are necessarily incorrect. “There exists a huge body of printing spread across the entire federal government that goes unreported as a result of the way printing is booked. Often printing is booked as a project cost, or a communication expense, or part of a larger training project, or as copying expense, or simply as paper purchased (while labor, equipment and other printing costs are booked under separate spend categories), or in any number of other ways to conceal the in house printing shop activities. There are also a large number of unauthorized agency printing plants operating that have grown significantly over the years outside the oversight of the Congressional Joint Committee on Printing that may or may not have given a specific waiver for the operation of the agency printing plant in the first place. Further complicating OMB’s reporting is the fact that many of the waivers are simply lost and not reportable,” he explained.