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which provided the additional funding. As a result of these activities, the Medicare program's net savings were about $3 billion in fiscal year 2000.
• Cutting Costs of the F-22 Aircraft Program: In a series of reports beginning in the mid1990s, GAO questioned various aspects of the Air Force's F-22 aircraft acquisition program. We reported that the acquisition strategy was risky and that the program was experiencing cost growth, manufacturing problems with test aircraft, and testing delays. Our analysis helped the Congress reduce the final fiscal year 2000 appropriation request for the F-22 by about $552 million and to identify conditions that should be met before the Department of Defense could begin full production.
• Supporting Oversight of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): GAO continued to support
• Recapturing Excess HUD Funding: GAO identified funding from several sources in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget, including unexpended balances no longer needed, that could be recaptured in fiscal years 1998 and 1999. The Congress rescinded $1.65 billion from the Section 8 housing program's fiscal year 1998 budget authority and rejected $1.3 billion of HUD's fiscal year 1999 request for housing assistance for a total reduction of $2.95 billion. Subsequently, GAO and HUD worked together to revise HUD's analysis to show that, by using recaptured funds, HUD had sufficient funding to meet its needs.
Almost 800 Actions Taken To Improve Government Operations or Services
GAO's recommendations and audit findings also resulted in or contributed to many improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations and services during fiscal year 2000. While immeasurable in dollar terms, they contributed to improving public safety and consumer protection, establishing more effective and efficient government operations, and safeguarding the nation's physical and information infrastructure. We recorded 788 actions taken in response to our recommendations to improve how the federal government operates, a number far exceeding that of the preceding 3 years as illustrated in the following graphic.
wanting to come over for more pay, but there were other issues out there. We have since negotiated a contract with them, regarding their pay, and we reached an agreement. It is not quite what the Capitol Police get, but the agreement puts their pay on par with other Federal police in the District of Columbia. We were attempting to stay within that executive branch level.
I guess my sense in response is if you want to carry it out, that is fine. There are benefits to the Congress, and I would have no objection to it.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have some questions that I will submit to be answered for the record. [The questions and responses follow:]
QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD FROM MR. HOYER
Question. The technology used in the Plant has changed dramatically in recent years. Do you have an idea how much money has been saved on Congressional printing through improved technology like direct-to-plate?
Response. Productivity increases resulting from technology have enabled GPO to make substantial reductions in staffing requirements while continuing to improve services for Congress. In the mid-1970's, on the threshold of our conversion to electronic photocomposition, we employed approximately 8,500 persons. Today, we have about 3,100 employees, fewer than at any time in this century. In the past 8 years alone our staffing has been reduced by 35 percent. The reduction was accomplished while at the same time modernizing and improving our services.
Electronic technologies have significantly reduced the cost, in real economic terms, of congressional publications. In FY 1978, the appropriation for Congressional Printing and Binding was $84.6 million, the equivalent in today's dollars of more than $200 million. By comparison, we project that the cost of congressional work for FY 2002 will be $81 million, a reduction of nearly two-thirds in real economic terms. This has yielded substantial savings to the taxpayers. The vast majority of the reduction is due to productivity improvements and staffing reductions made possible through our use of electronic printing and information technologies.
Question. You are requesting 8 additional FTE's in the Salaries and Expenses Appropriation. Why?
Response. Six additional FTE's are being requested for the Cataloging and Indexing Program, to improve GPO's capability to discover, catalog, and process online Government information. Two additional FTE's are requested for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), specifically to manage the FDLP Electronic Collection. The new FTE's would support the highly detailed and technical tasks associ ated with preservation of electronic publications, such as handling large digital collections. They will further integrate existing systems and develop new procedures and strategies for digital preservation.
Question. What steps are you taking to ensure permanent public access to government information in electronic formats?
Response. GPO's strategy for assuring permanent public access to digital publications in multi-layered. GPO Access material, at www.access.gpo.gov, and information hosted on GPO Access servers on behalf of the originating agency, is archived at GPO on GPO servers. This includes all information from GPŎ Access since its inception in 1994. For Government publications that are to be included in the FDLP only in electronic form, GPO obtains, where possible, a documented arrangement with the issuing agency that either assures that publications will be available from the agency server permanently, or will be turned over to GPO for archiving. Where a documented arrangement is not possible, GPO downloads a copy of the digital publication and houses it in an archive on GPO servers, making the archived copy available only at the point that the original product is no longer available from the publishing agency's server. GPO is also working with partners in the library community to provide archival housing of specialized categories of digital information.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Hoyer. Mr. LaHood.
Mr. LAHOOD. Nothing.
Mr. SHERWOOD. As you transition from a conventional printing operation to this high-tech digital delivery system, are you having trouble-do you have the resources and the authority to pay the kind of bonuses and attract the type of people and retain the type of people that you need because these skills are in such high demand in the commercial workplace?
Mr. DIMARIO. In certain IT areas, information technology areas, we have a great deal of difficulty, especially with what are known as C-plus or C-plus-plus programmers that are necessary to do some of that work. Recently the Office of Personnel Management authorized an increase in salary, premiums if you would, for certain IT personnel, and we are offering those. We have brought that to bear for our employees, which I think we were required to do.
Overall, we are getting adequate staffing. When we go out for most GPO jobs, we have a very significant number of applicants. But when we go out for highly specialized IT jobs, then we run into problems. We have had some of the people most responsible for our success in transitioning leave and go elsewhere, some in retirement. We do pay significantly less than those people can get in the private sector.
Mr. SHERWOOD. In the same vein, in this transition to a digital delivery organization, do we need to be concerned about the security and the authenticity of our information on the Internet? Do we have sufficient firewalls and so forth in place that we can't be compromised?
Mr. DIMARIO. I would say through diligence, we are-it will be a yes answer. We have them in place. There have been significant attempts to penetrate our firewall. They have not been successful. As I testified on the Senate side, since January there have been some 300,000 attempts to get into our system. And we have had none get beyond the firewall, although one got into an area where we could identify and contain the person. Some of these hacking attempts were coming from China and elsewhere.
Also, we are putting in place for authenticity's sake, a public key infrastructure. We are well on our way on that, which authenticates the data and secures the data.
So I would say we certainly need to keep on top of it and keep moving ahead. GPO funds most everything from rates, so we pass the cost on through our rate structure. The only appropriations we receive are the two that are here, the salaries and expense appropriation which is mostly for the depository library program, and the congressional printing and binding. The rest of it comes through fees that we charge others.
We have managed to keep our technology fairly high-end. I am very proud of where GPO is today. We have gone from 8,500 employees 25 years ago to a little over 3,000. When I took over 8 years ago, we had 5,000 employees. I think we are performing very, very well and all you have to do is see the awards we get from the outside folks in the electronic arena, people who use the system. That does not eliminate criticism of where we are, and to the extent that we are criticized, we will address the criticisms.
Mr. TAYLOR. We commend you for your award and the efforts you have made, and we certainly appreciate the work that you are doing.
Thank you gentlemen, we will now proceed with the General Accounting Office.
Mr. DIMARIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2001.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
DAVID M. WALKER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL
SALLYANNE HARPER, CHIEF MISSION SUPPORT AND CHIEF FINAN-
RICHARD L. BROWN, CONTROLLER
Mr. TAYLOR. We will now take up the budget of the General Accounting Office. The budget request is $430.3 million and 3,275 FTES. The funding includes $2.5 million that will be derived from reimbursable programs. We have the Comptroller General, David M. Walker. Mr. Walker, good to see you, sir.
Mr. WALKER. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Accompanying Mr. Walker are several members of his staff. We are pleased to have all of you here. I would like to begin by thanking Comptroller General Walker for his traveling into my district a few weeks ago and presenting a very important report, which is what the GAO always does, on the quality of the air in the Great Smokey Mountains. That report has cleared the air, so to speak. In the up coming debate, it will provide the Congress and agencies invaluable service and information in addressing that important issue.
Mr. Walker, would you take the time now to introduce your staff? Mr. WALKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To my left is Gene Dodaro, who is the Chief Operating Officer of the GAO. To my immediate right, Sallyanne Harper, Chief Mission Support Officer, and to her right, Dick Brown who is our Controller.
Mr. TAYLOR. I know you have a prepared statement which has been circulated to members of the committee and will be inserted in the record at this time.
[The prepared statement of the Comptroller General follows:]