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Commentary & Analysis

Washington Post picks up Boarman story

New evidence has surfaced in relation to the nomination of William Boarman for the post of U.S. Public Printer. WhatTheyThink has been covering this story since the nomination was announced through posts on the Print CEO blog. Most recently, we learned that Boarman had received—and cashed—a check for a “gain sharing” payment in 2010—33 years after he left active employment with the GPO.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: July 16, 2010

Sources Indicate Boarman Under Investigation by GPO Inspector General

Our ongoing investigation with a number of sources reveals that, as we expected, this issue goes deeper than one $175 payment. We understand that Mr. Boarman is currently under investigation by GPO's Inspector General for receiving and cashing a dozen checks between the years 2004 and 2010 to which he was not entitled. Apparently records are not available for prior years due to implementation of a new Time and Attendance Payroll system in 2003. In 2004, for example, he received gross pay totaling $1,615.04, which included both regular and holiday pay.

Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post's Federal Eye has also picked up this story, reporting that Boarman "received and cashed about $3,800 in improper payments from the GPO in the last six years and repaid the funds on Tuesday, according to government records." The GPO attributes these inappropriate payments to administrative error.

Boarman left the GPO in June of 1977, requesting one year of leave without pay (LWOP) while he served as the full-time President of the Columbia Typographical Union. That request was granted, as were several others through 1987 as Boarman's tenure continued in various senior-level union positions.

According to our sources, this LWOP status, which apparently is still in place, means that should Mr. Boarman be confirmed as Public Printer, he will be eligible for an annual pension of 43% of his high three year salary or $78,000 per year for life should he serve three years at Executive Schedule II (currently $179,700), the pay scale for the Public Printer, even though he has not worked at the agency for 33 years.

We understand that Boarman's nomination will be voted on by the Senate Rules Committee early next week. It is not clear whether the Inspector General's investigation will be completed by that time. The nomination then must go before the full Senate for a vote.

WhatTheyThink will continue to report on this evolving story as more details become available.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



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