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Public Printer William Boarman hits nail on head

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

Chambersburg, PA - In Public Printer William Boarman's Facebook response 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.

He went on to say some industry experts believe that this body of fugitive printing exceeds $10 billion.  "In an industry that has taken hit after hit and is now on artificial respiration, having dropped from perhaps $150 billion a few years ago and now hovering around $90 billion, the addition of another $10 billion through GPO would be just what the doctor ordered.  Congress likes to talk about what it wants to do for taxpayers, well here is one great opportunity to do the right thing by partnering with Mr. Boarman and putting this printing work into the private sector where it belongs," Gindlesperger said.  "So why doesn't the Joint Committee on Printing jump to do what Mr. Boarman is asking – eliminate waivers and act to shutter agency plants, thus sending federal government printing to GPO in accordance with the law - Title 44 of the U.S. Code?  After all the government wins, the federal agencies win, GPO wins, the printing industry wins, and – most importantly – the taxpayers win.  The answer is in another question.  When was the last time you got angry enough to actually call your Congressman and U.S. Senators and demand that the right thing be done for your industry?  Until that happens, you and others within the printing industry will get what you have now."

Gindlesperger said Boarman may be the first Public Printer in 30 years to truly understand the dilemma, the dynamics and the politics.  "It is easy to ignore the problem, as so many Public Printers have done in the past, and to get kudos for improving production in GPO's own printing shop.  But Mr. Boarman seems willing to tackle the real issue.  He would seem to be the right man in the right job at the right time.  His influence and vision may result in finally reinventing GPO so its federal agency customers are better served, excessive printing costs are trimmed, GPO union ranks and the printing industry are both satisfied, and taxpayers get what they deserve," he added.   "Admittedly, many were and some are still skeptical of an appointee with union ties as strong as Mr. Boarman's.  Yet, it is his experience, abilities to project, negotiate, and understand that may in the end prove to be pivotal as he squares off to meet the challenge of restoring GPO's rightful place as a respected partner with the printing industry."

Gindlesperger concluded: "This is not about unions.  They know how to take care of themselves.  This is about having a vision for a better tomorrow.  As Mr. Boarman said in his Facebook posting, the majority of the firms that the GPO deals with are small businesses, many with 20 employees or fewer. This is the true face of the printing industry and of America.  Mr. Boarman's strong leadership is appreciated by those who care about GPO and its impact on the printing industry.  Now, let's see what Mr. Boarman, in concert with the printing industry, can actually accomplish."



By Chuck Gehman on Mar 03, 2011

What is this? A press release? A news story? Is William Gindlesperger the press agent for the GPO? Some kind of self-appointed lobbyist for the print industry?

What action are we supposed to take in response to this?

I don't think anyone would believe that, at this point in our country's evolution, a giant government bureaucracy should get bigger, as this seems to suggest.


By Eric Vessels on Mar 03, 2011

Wasn't completely sure if your questions were rhetorical, Chuck. Thought I'd answer the PR one. Yes. Press release issued by e-LYNXX. PR should all have a note at the top "Press release from the issuing company".

I'll let others address the additional queries. ;-)


By Clint Bolte on Mar 04, 2011

There used to be annual contracts to perform, in essence, high speed copying for distinct federal agencies. Virtually all of that volume has been absorbed inhouse under Managed Print Services (MPS) equipment leases.

The 26 digital print engine vendors all consider the MPS arena to be the hot growth opportunity by replacing copiers, scanners, and fax units (mostly desktop) with fewer multi-functional devices (MFDs) that all do these functions. Plus they are all networked together running software that defaults to duplex printing, sends work to open units, and provides seamless chargeback accounting.


By Pete Basiliere on Mar 07, 2011

A little more clarification appears to be in order, Eric, if "the issuing company" is not the GPO, as it appears to be from the text, but e-Lynxx.

According to its homepage, e-Lynxx "offers a competitive procurement procedure – that is patented* to allow clients to save 25% to 50% by obtaining margin prices from their own quality suppliers."

e-Lynxx has a direct interest in whether the GPO bundles all federal government printing. Readers deserve to know if the source of the unsubstantiated (in the press release) statement that "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" is a company that sells the tools that the GPO could use in its print procurement program.


By Eric Vessels on Mar 07, 2011

Hi Pete,

Understand your point, but the release is out of Chambersburg where e-LYNXX is located and Gindlesperger is clearly the one quoted. I'm not sure where the confusion would be as to whether this was issued by GPO. Releases out of the GPO would be issued out of DC and would include GPO executives prominently in quoted comments.

Appreciate your other comments that do serve to further inform our readers. One of the reasons we added comments recently. ;-)


By Deborah Snider on Mar 08, 2011

Since 1975 e-LYNXX and its predecessors have worked with the majority of printers that successfully win and produce the federal government printing that is procured through the GPO. Our founder and chairman, Mr. Gindlesperger, has dedicated his career to the support of the GPO and to its drive to move work produced by government employees (in thousands of federal agency in-house printing plants) to the GPO in accordance with Title 44 of the U.S. Code. The GPO has traditionally procured from private sector printing companies the majority of the work sent to it by federal agencies.

Mr. Gindlesperger is recognized both in and out of government as the expert on the GPO procurement system and how it benefits the private sector. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Rules Committee and is widely published throughout North America in more than 150 journals, magazines, newsletters, blogs and on-line publications in the areas of printing, procurement, supply chain, financial and management. Mr. Gindlesperger has been named to Supply and Demand Chain Executive’s Pros to Know, inducted into PIA’s Ben Franklin Society, has been awarded three patents with others pending and has received many other awards and recognitions. Mr. Gindlesperger has worked closely with the PIA’s Government Affairs Department and has served as the catalyst for fair, open and objective procurement of printing by the GPO. His activities have been a financial boon to thousands of printers and have allowed many printers to remain in business as a result of their being able to fill their downtime with work won through GPO procurement. His bio is available at www.e-lynxx.com as well as a clear listing of all of e-LYNXX business offerings.

Mr. Gindlesperger believes (along with many others within the printing industry) that the government is bloated and could better manage its printing through the outsourcing of that printing to the private sector. Thus, the article discusses the benefits of curtailing the thousands of federal agency in-house printing plants in favor of procurement by the GPO from the private sector in accordance with federal law.

The Printing Industries of America and other senior voices for the printing industry have agreed for years that the GPO procurement program is one of the best small business programs within the federal government. There has also been agreement with the printing industry that the prices GPO pays for printing that it procures are half or less than the costs to produce the same amount of printing through federal agency in-house printing plants.

Public Printer Boarman is correct when he is quoted in the article as: “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."

Three cheers for Mr. Boarman. This printing work belongs in the private sector. Government agencies benefit. The GPO benefits. Taxpayers benefit. Printers benefit. Suppliers to printers benefit. Who opposes such a move?

Deborah Snider
President, Government Print Management
Division of e-LYNXX Corporation


By Chuck Gehman on Mar 11, 2011

Seems to me that this boils down to taking processes in one government agency and moving them to another. A centralized bureaucracy rather than distributed?

I think Pete "hits the nail on the head" when he points out, there is no proof that the operations in the individual agencies are any less efficient or less cost effective than procurement via GPO and this e-lynxx company would be.

Maybe if the agencies went outside, and didn't use the GPO, the savings would be even greater, like 60%, which according to Deborah Snider's forecast, would result in additional millions in savings.

This is a category of software that I've never heard of-- apparently one specialized in government print procurement. If that's a real business, other people must be doing it. Are there other companies besides e-lynxx competing in this space, and where do they stand on these arguments?

I must say, though, as a taxpayer myself it makes me nervous the way e-lynxx is cheerleading and promoting the ideas of the new public printer, whose primary experience in the printing industry is as a labor leader.

Nothing wrong with that, but you just don't picture such a leader as focusing on streamlining processes and employing cutting edge technology.


By Deborah Snider on Mar 11, 2011

Chuck –

For whatever reason, you are missing the point.

Federal agencies are not permitted by federal law to procure printing. They must abide by Title 44 of the U.S. Code and send their printing to the GPO for procurement. However, many federal agencies do not abide by the law and have opened and grown their in-house printing capabilities, spending taxpayer money to produce printing that would be best produced in the private sector.

If your argument is that it is better for federal agencies to operate their own print shops rather than to allow that printing to be procured by GPO and produced by private sector printers, you are certainly out of touch with the printing industry and the thousands of printing companies who depend on the GPO to make enough money to put bread on their tables.

If your point is that our firm, e-LYNXX Corporation, has a contract with GPO to assist in its procurement of printing, then you would again be incorrect. Another division of our firm offers a system, services and patented procedure for assisting printing buyers (including distributors and resellers) to better manage the workflow, communication and details of the procurement process. Although our clients read like a who’s who of North American business, unfortunately GPO is not a client and is reliant on its own home-grown software and systems.

The point here is that the GPO is an important player in the printing industry, is a major procurer of printing, operates the best small business program within the federal government and is likely one of the most misunderstood undertakings in history (as your posts would seem to indicate). What we believe is in the best interests of government agencies, the GPO, the taxpayers, printers, suppliers to printers, and others is that federal agencies send their work to GPO to allow GPO to procure that work from the private sector. Why would you or anyone else oppose such a move?

Yes, those who speak out in favor of GPO may have something to gain. (Just as those who speak out against GPO may have an ax to grind.) In our case we speak out in support of our printer clients who are suppliers to the federal government through GPO. It is those same printers who save taxpayer dollars by bidding competitively and delivering a quality product as required… time and time again.

I am available to discuss the realities of the GPO process with you or anyone else at your convenience.

Deborah Snider
President, Government Print Management
Division of e-LYNXX Corpo


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