Global Publishing Solutions Awarded $164 million U.S. Department of State Printing Contract
Press release from the issuing company
Washington D.C. -- Following a rigorous government selection process, the Department of State awarded a 10-year contract worth $164 million to its revamped in-house printing and publishing organization, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS). The award decision culminated an 18-month public-private competition, comparing the government’s ability to provide a commercial service with the private sector bidders’ ability to accomplish the same service. Competitive Sourcing is one of the five Government-wide initiatives of the President’s Management Agenda, which is the Administration’s strategy for improving the management and performance of the Federal government.
The competition encompassed 199 positions, including Foreign Service, Civil Service, Foreign Service Nationals, and contractors. The Department expects to save approximately $80 million dollars over the life of the contract as a result of this competition, with improved quality and increased capability to reach overseas audiences with America’s message.
Under Competitive Sourcing, both the government and interested private sector companies submitted technical and cost proposals to illustrate how they would satisfy the global printing and publishing needs of the Department of State, including graphic design and creation, copier management, and implementation of a standardized worldwide publishing workflow.
The US Department of State requirements for publishing have changed dramatically over the years and especially under the current Administration. As part of her Global Diplomatic Repositioning Initiative, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has directed the Department to support developing nations as they work to become progressive democracies. In addition to moving hundreds of personnel from Europe and Washington to transitional countries and reallocating budgets to capture funds for the effort, the initiative also requires the best means of communicating America’s message to developing nations, where computers are scarce and populations continue to rely on printed materials.
To accommodate Rice’s Transformational Diplomacy initiative, GPS has devoted many months and resources to evaluating best practice options. As part of this effort, GPS employs state-of-the-art strategies and counsel from one of the industry’s pre-eminent experts, David Zwang.
The new GPS has come a long way since its inception shortly after World War II, when it was known as Multi Media Services. Since then it has grown in stature and become an indispensable resource for the State Department. “GPS has one customer: the government,” says Mark Lundi, GPS Director. “We’ve spent decades working together and we’ve gone overboard time and time again to get the job done accurately and on time. We are confident that the Department of State can continue to rely on GPS, especially given our dedication to ramping up services to meet their needs so precisely.
“Our senior management team has operated the 77,000 square foot Regional Printing Center in Manila for over fifty years. We have published and shipped high-quality Department publications to the most remote corners of the Earth. We know, and can anticipate, the Department’s policy-driven publishing needs better than anyone,” says Lundi.
According to Zwang, “The new and innovative GPS workflows are based on the philosophy that GPS and the customer are partners in a process team. The entire technology and process base is constructed to ensure that we have easy ways to communicate. Using GPS Link, which is the MIS infrastructure, we can ensure that all of our global facilities and the client base are always connected and able to communicate current and historic process information.”
Zwang says that GPS also designed the system to support automated production processes. “Using distributed production, JDF, web to print, and other automating technologies,” he says, “we are able to reduce costs and more importantly, production cycle and delivery times.”
The GPS framework for conducting Department of State publishing and distribution will have long-term ramifications in setting new standards for global graphic communications and publishing. The GPS proposal was submitted by Lee R. Lohman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Sharing Services, on behalf of the government employees. Says Mr. Lohman, “Being selected for this contract speaks volumes about our organization’s capabilities. GPS is offering what we believe is one of the most sophisticated, flexible, and scaleable communications solutions in the world.”
The new GPS organization is refining its existing fee-for-services internal billing structure, where several costs were considerably subsidized, to a market-based pricing arrangement. This was critical, as GPS is not the sole or mandated source for Department printing and publishing needs. Although the government operation has always been customer-focused, the incorporation of international quality standards, coupled with the shift towards market-based pricing, will further enhance service delivery.
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