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Senator BENNETT. We welcome you to the committee for your first appearance and look forward to seeing you regularly.
Senator FEINSTEIN. Thank you.
[The following questions were not asked at the hearing, but were submitted to the Office for response subsequent to the hearing:)
ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE QUESTIONS Question. During the Committee's last quarterly briefing, GAO had 2 additional mission-critical systems that need to be renovated, 9 systems which remain to be validated, and test and contingency plans which need to be finalized.
Will GÁO meet the March 31 executive branch deadline and have the remaining 2 systems renovated?
Have test and contingency plans been finalized?
Answer. All mission-critical systems requiring remediation were renovated, validated, and implemented by March 31, 1999. GAð has obtained either vendor certification of Year 2000 compliance or developed
test plans for all mission-critical systems. In addition, as of March 31, all interfaces between mission-critical systems were tested.
GAO also has developed plans to perform “end-to-end” testing of all systems that it directly controls and will require that "end-to-end” testing be performed by the computer centers that operate its administrative systems. GAO has already tested the movement of data among its mission-critical administrative systems. In addition, we have participated with NFC in testing the Payroll/Personnel system, and are working with NFC to test the interface from the Payroll/Personnel system into the Financial Management System.
GAO is well along in the process of developing both business continuity and contingency plans. We have analyzed our core business processes, identified their supporting systems, and are now developing the specific procedures that would allow staff to operate outside of the headquarters building. In addition, we are developing comprehensive “Zero Day” plans to focus on the critical 5-day period of the century rollover-December 30, 1999 to January 3, 2000—to ensure that January 3 is an uneventful, business-as-usual day. The contingency plans for most systems will be completed by the summer. Our contingency plans involve changes in our operating procedures, are largely manual, and are not dependent on new technology.
Question. The income from receipts for audit work performed by GÃO for other agencies has been consistently declining every year as more agencies use their Office of Inspector General (OIG) or contract with private sector firms for their audits. This year GAO projects an additional reduction of $600,000 in receipts and asks for Congress to make up that difference in appropriated funds.
Have you looked into why agencies are no longer using GAO for their audit work?
Shouldn't there be a decrease in the FTE level if the demand for these services is reduced?
Answer. The reduction in corporate audit receipts from $2 million in fiscal year 1999 to $1.4 million in fiscal year 2000 is attributable to the audit of FDIC's financial statements. GAO has been working with the FDIC OIG to further increase OIG involvement in the audits of FDIC's financial statements. This involvement began with the 1996 audits as a long-term training effort to progressively increase the level of OIG responsibility in the financial audits so that the DIG would be qualified and experienced to take over the audits if the opportunity occurs. GAO has statutory responsibility to perform the annual financial audits under the provisions of Section 17(d) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1827(d)).
Although GAO's FTE's for performing the reimbursable audit at FDIC have declined, other areas within GÃO are experiencing increasing demands for staff resources. As noted in our response to question 3, resource demands for congressional mandates and requests continue to increase.
Question. In your testimony you indicate that the percentage of GAO's audit work conducted at the direction of Congress has increased from 82 percent in 1992 to 96 percent in 1998.
Do you have any rationale for that increase?
Answer. In both fiscal years 1992 and 1998, requests from committees and individual members were about 74 percent of audit resources used. Resources spent on congressional mandates, however, increased from 8 percent in fiscal year 1992 to 22 percent in fiscal year 1998. This increase, coupled with the steady volume of congressional requests, limits GAO's flexibility to conduct self-initiated reviews.
Question. GAO has been making large investments in technology. Last year GAO estimated that by the end of fiscal year 1998, 80 percent of staff IT stations would be upgraded
How much have you spent on IT since fiscal year 1996?
Answer. During fiscal years 1996 and 1997, GAO significantly curtailed IT operating costs and deferred most technology investments. Because of the constrained budget environment during this period, GAO's principal focus in information resources and technology had been to upgrade existing systems to ensure they remain current and continue to operate in the year 2000. In fiscal years 1996 through 1998, GAO spent $10.4 million on IT investments, including upgrades to network components such as servers, workstations, and other peripheral equipment, Windows95 operating system, MSOffice Suites application software, and the telecommunications network. Some of these investments, such as network equipment and workstations, were obtained under lease-to-purchase agreements. These improvements have provided GAO with a fully integrated set of applications that has reduced document creation time, streamlined document production, and ensured Year 2000 compliance. As of January 1999, all staff workstations have been upgraded.
Question. You have indicated an increase in the volume of work requested by Congress.
How many requests did you receive in fiscal year 1998 from Committee Chairmen or Ranking Members?
How many requests did you receive from Members of Congress?
Answer. In fiscal year 1998, GAO received 1,531 requests from the Congress for audit work. The sources of these requests were as follows: 1,081 requests (71 percent) were initiated by Committee Chairmen or Ranking Members; 334 requests (22 percent) were initiated by Members; 101 requests (7 percent) were new mandates contained in public laws or committee reports; as well as 15 requests (less than 1 percent) from a member of the congressional leadership, officer of Congress, or congressional task force.
Decisions to undertake individual assignments are influenced heavily by the source of the request. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, as codified in 31 U.S.C. 717, requires the Comptroller General to respond to legislative mandates and committee requests. As a matter of policy, we interpret committee requests to include requests from both committee Chairs or Ranking Minority Members. Requests from individual Members are undertaken to the extent possible.
While scope and timing adjustments are frequently negotiated with requesters, GAO is generally able to satisfy the needs of most congressional requests. Issue area managers with a significant backlog of requests will often work with congressional staff to help prioritize the requests, respond to the earliest doable requests, might postpone a specialized request to await the availability of staff with the requisite expertise, or might postpone a small non-urgent request for a more important timecritical request. In addition, some of the requests have a future due date or require another event before GAO can begin work. Currently, there are about 400 requests for GAO assistance where we have not initiated work.
GAO is taking a number of actions to enhance its operations and services to and interface with its client—the Congress. GAO must make sure it has clearly defined, transparent, and consistent guidelines governing our relations with the Congress, no matter which party is the majority and which is the minority. By the end of this year, we plan to have a program in place for gauging, through direct contact with congressional leaders and members, the level of satisfaction with GAO's products and services. The Comptroller General will personally meet at least annually with top congressional leaders, and other top GÃO executives will meet with key committee leadership.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL F. DiMARIO, PUBLIC PRINTER
ROBERT T. MANSKER, DEPUTY PUBLIC PRINTER
WELCOMING REMARKS Senator BENNETT. Our next witness is Michael DiMario, the Public Printer.
Good morning, sir.
Senator BENNETT. The Government Printing Office requests a total of $128.5 million for Congressional printing and binding, the Superintendent of Documents, and the Revolving Fund.
It will come as no surprise to you, Mr. DiMario, that I will be listening very carefully to your comments about GPO's preparedness for the Y2K. GAO, from whom we have just heard, has expressed concern about your ability to be ready. You know my concern here.
So I look forward to going into that in some detail.
PUBLIC PRINTER'S STATEMENT Mr. DIMARIO. Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, I am pleased to te here this morning to present GPO's appropriations request for fiscal year 2000.
With me on my left is Bob Mansker, the Deputy Public Printer. On my right is Francis Buckley, the Superintendent of Documents. Also with us is Bill Guy, GPO's Budget Officer, who is here behind
In the interest of time, I will summarize my prepared statement which has been submitted for the record.
Senator BENNETT. It will appear in the record. Mr. DIMARIO. Thank you. For fiscal year 2000, we are requesting a total of $128.5 million. The request includes $82.2 million for the Congressional Printing and Binding appropriation and $31.2 million for the Superintendent of Documents programs.
It also includes $15 million for GPO's Revolving Fund for extraordinary expenses associated with air conditioning replacement, elevator renovation, and ensuring Y2K compliance.
Most of the new funds we are requesting for Congressional printing and binding, or $5.8 million, are to cover anticipated workload increases.
After a period of reduced workload in the 105th Congress, we anticipate a return to workload levels more consistent with historical trends during the 106th Congress. A majority of the increase for the Superintendent of Documents, or $1.1 million, is for the Federal Depository Library Program planned electronic collection.
Managing and expanding this collection is crucial to the objective of transitioning the Depository Library Program to a more electronic basis.
The request of $15 million for the Revolving Fund includes $8.1 million for extraordinary expenses required to ensure Y2K compliance, $6 million for our air conditioning system, which is in critical need of replacement, and $900,000 for necessary elevator renovation.
Without a direct appropriation, financing these unusual capital expenses through the Revolving Fund will require us to reimburse the fund through rate adjustments.
Finally, we are requesting an increase in the statutory ceiling on employment of full time equivalents, or FTEs, to 3,550. We have reduced employment levels by 33 percent over the past decade and by more than 25 percent since 1993.
Our employment levels are now dangerously low. Overtime utilization has increased by 11 percent in the past year. Our ability to continue providing mission critical support to Congress is being jeopardized by continued attrition and reductions in our FTE ceiling.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my opening remarks and I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
[The statement follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MICHAEL F. DIMARIO Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here to present the appropriations request of the Government Printing Office (GPO) for fiscal year 2000.
GPO'S MISSION: KEEPING AMERICA INFORMED A commitment to public access to Government information is deeply rooted in our system of Government. GPO is one of the most visible demonstrations of that commitment. For more than a century, our mission under the public printing and documents statutes of Title 44, U.S. Code, has been to fulfill the needs of the Federal Government for information products and to distribute those products to the public.
Formerly, GPO's mission was accomplished through the production and procurement of traditional printing technologies. However, a generation ago we began migrating our processes to electronic technologies, and in 1993 Congress amended Title 44 with the GPO Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act (Public Law 103– 40), which requires us to disseminate Government information products online. This Act is the basis of GPO Access, our Internet information service.
Today, GPO is dedicated to producing, procuring, and disseminating Government information products in a wide range of formats-print, CD-ROM, and online. In GPO the Government has a unique asset that combines a comprehensive range of conventional production and electronic processing, procurement facilitation, and multi-format dissemination capabilities to support the information life cycle needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public:
-We provide print and electronic information products and services to Congress
and Federal agencies through in-plant processes and the purchase of information products from the private sector. For Congress, we maintain a capability to fully support the information product needs of the legislative process, working in close cooperation with leadership offices, committees, Members, and staffs in each Chamber. -We disseminate Government information to the public in print and electronic formats through a low-priced sales program and a reimbursable program, and to Federal depository libraries nationwide where the information may be used by the public free of charge. We provide a number of ancillary dissemination services, including cataloging and indexing Government information products, distribution of Federal information under international exchange agreements,
and distribution of Federal documents to recipients designated by law. -We disseminate a massive volume of information online via the Internet with
GPO Access. Between 10 million and 15 million documents are retrieved by the public every month using this system. We strongly support the increased dissemination of Government information in electronic formats, and GPO Access today is one of the leading Federal sites on the Internet. Our home page, at www.access.gpo.gov, provides free public access to more than 70 Federal databases from all three branches of the Government, a growing number of agency Government Information Locator Service (GILS) sites, and associated locator and Pathway aids. The titles currently available on GPO Access include the recent report of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, headed by Chairman Bennett, Investigating the Impact of the Year 2000
Problem. Value of GPO Services.GPO's value to Congress, Federal agencies, and the public is well established. Our programs reduce the need for duplicative production and procurement facilities throughout the Government. As multiple studies by the General Accounting Office, the Office of Technology Assessment, GPO's Inspector General, and others have shown, GPO achieves significant taxpayer savings through a centralized production and procurement system. Our dissemination programs represent the Government's most comprehensive and effective means for providing public access to Government information, which is increasingly valuable to all Americans in the Information Age.
We provide all of our services in a non-partisan, service-oriented environment that emphasizes the primacy of the customer's requirements for timeliness, quality, security, and economy. We are dedicated to achieving the greatest access and equity in information dissemination through printed publications, CD-ROM, and online information technologies. Our electronic and traditional technologies simultaneously enable us to facilitate the re-engineering of information products to satisfy the Government's changing information requirements, and to preserve and protect public access to Government information for all of our citizens. Most importantly, GPO's skilled and dedicated
employees are committed to serving Congress, Federal agencies, and the public. They demonstrated this once again during the production of the various publications associated with the report of independent counsel Kenneth Starr. These voluminous, high-profile publications were required by Congress under the very demanding circumstances of short turnaround time and tight security constraints. In each case, our employees were able to produce the documents within the required deadlines and provide public access in both print and electronic forms, all in record-breaking time, earning the praise of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Hyde. Under the close direction of the Appropriations Committees, we also produced the Omnibus Appropriations bill at the end of the 105th Congress under tight deadlines. GPO's performance demonstrated once again that our employees have the skills and the ability to provide for Congress's information needs under virtually any circumstance. They are indeed our greatest and most valuable asset.
More than a century ago, Congress in its wisdom designed a system in GPO for keeping America informed. That system continues to serve a vital purpose today.
FISCAL YEAR 2000 APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST For fiscal year 2000, we are requesting a total of $128,459,000. The request includes $82,214,000 for the annual Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation and $31,245,000 for the annual Salaries and Expenses Appropriation of the Superintendent of Documents. Our request also includes $15,000,000 for GPO’s revolving fund, to remain available until expended, for extraordinary expenses associated with the replacement of our air-conditioning systems, elevator renovation, and to ensure Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance in our computer systems. As our budget submis