WASHINGTON – Quad/Graphics Inc. has agreed to pay $750,000 to the United States to resolve allegations that the firm violated security requirements involving personally identifiable information on contracts with the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO).
The settlement agreement was announced today by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Michael A. Raponi, Inspector General for the U.S. Government Publishing Office.
The company, based in Sussex, Wisconsin, specializes in print solutions, such as retail inserts, publications, catalogs, direct mail, packaging, books, and directories. Since January of 2013, it provided printing services under contracts with the GPO. These contracts involved the electronic receipt and printing of Social Security Administration forms that contain personally identifiable information, protected from disclosure under the federal Privacy Act and other laws. Under the contracts, the company was to meet security requirements involving the handling of documents with personally identified information, including the handling of waste.
The agreement resolves allegations stemming from an investigation by the GPO Office of Inspector General of a company facility in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. As a result of the investigation, the United States alleged civil claims arising from its contention that Quad/Graphics failed to comply with the security requirements. For example, the government alleged, Quad/Graphics failed to dispose of waste according to GPO procedures; used malfunctioning security cameras to monitor production runs and the bale room; allowed unauthorized employees who had not undergone required background checks to work on the contracts, and altered sign-in sheets to conceal the fact that the unauthorized employees had access to the secure work area.
In addition to the $750,000 payment, Quad/Graphics has agreed to a series of changes in the way it trains its employees on the handling of documents containing personally identifiable information and in the actual physical layout of its printing facility to maximize security of personal identification information.
The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort among the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia and the GPO Office of Inspector General. In announcing the settlement, U.S. Attorney Philips and Inspector General Raponi commended the work of Special Agent Keith D. Olive, who investigated the case from the Inspector General’s Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darrell C. Valdez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.