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Independent Audit Validates GPO's Core Mission

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON – The National Academy of Public Administration has released an independent study of the Government Printing Office (GPO), Rebooting the Government Printing Printing Office: Keeping American Informed in the Digital Age. The report affirms that “GPO’s core mission of authenticating, preserving, and distributing Federal information remains critically important to American democracy” in the digital age while recommending measures to strengthen the agency’s business model for the future.  The study was ordered by Congress in 2011. 

Full Report (PDF)

Overseen by a panel of distinguished Academy fellows and conducted by a team of Academy professionals, the 10-month study involved extensive data analysis and review supplemented by interviews with GPO management, employees, and labor representatives as well as stakeholders from the congressional, Federal agency, library, and printing communities.  The resulting report contains 27 finding and 15 recommendations.

The focus of the Academy’s report is the need for GPO—and the rest of the Federal Government—to continue “rebooting” for the digital age.  While pointing out that “GPO’s leaders have made considerable progress in transforming the agency into an efficient, future-oriented organization,” and that the agency has “expanded products and services for the digital age and made difficult decisions to ensure that revenues are in line with expenditures,” the report makes recommendations designed to help position GPO and the Federal Government to continue meeting the challenges of an increasingly digital world. 

The report calls for GPO to “serve as a critical player in the collaborative development of a government-wide strategy” for managing the lifecycle of Government information. To strengthen GPO for the future, it recommends that the agency continue offering an expanded set of services for the digital age, preserve the viability of the Federal depository library program, retain the production of executive branch printing, improve strategic and staffing planning, further consolidate operations, automate more agency functions, and related measures.  It also recommends exploring alternate funding models for digital products and services, expanding the sales of publications into new markets, consideration by Congress of allowing GPO to respond to state and local government requests for smart cards, and increasing the leasing of underutilized GPO building space.

“GPO is committed to its mission of Keeping America Informed and will continue to transform to meet the changing information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public,” said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “I especially want to thank the Academy fellows and staff for their thorough review of GPO’s operations and the recommendations they make to strengthen our mission and services.”

The National Academy of Public Administration is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established in 1967 and chartered by Congress in 1984. It provides expert advice to government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. To carry out this mission, the Academy draws on the knowledge and experience of its nearly 800 Fellows—including former cabinet officers, Members of Congress, governors, mayors, and state legislators, as well as prominent scholars, business executives, and public administrators. The Academy helps public institutions address their most critical governance and management challenges through in-depth studies and analyses, advisory services and technical assistance, Congressional testimony, forums and conferences, and online stakeholder engagement. Learn more about the Academy and its work at www.NAPAwash.org.

GPO is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through our Federal Digital System (www.fdsys.gov), partnerships with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and our secure online bookstore. For more information, please visit www.gpo.gov.


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