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sion shows on pages 1–2 and 1-3, GPO's appropriations have remained relatively stable over the past decade while declining substantially in real purchasing power.
The Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation is critical to the maintenance and operation of our in-plant capacity, which is structured to serve Congress's information product needs. This appropriation covers the costs of congressional printing such as the Congressional Record, bills, reports, hearings, documents, and other products. Each year, a substantial volume of this work is requisitioned. In fiscal year 1998, more than 1.3 billion copy pages of congressional products were produced at an average cost of about 5 cents per page, inclusive of all prepress work, printing, binding, and delivery. This appropriation also covers database preparation work on congressional publications disseminated online via GPO Access.
The majority of the Superintendent of Documents Salaries and Expenses Appropriation is for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). While some of the funding for this program is for salaries and benefits, most is for printing and distributing publications (including publications in CD-ROM and online formats) to depository libraries. This appropriation also covers other statutory distribution responsibilities, such as cataloging and indexing and international exchange distribution of U.S. Government publications, and provides the majority of funding for the operation of GPO Access. GPO's other major distribution functions, the sales program and agency distribution services, are funded entirely by revenues earned and receive no appropriated funds.
CONGRESSIONAL PRINTING AND BINDING APPROPRIATION The items covered by our request of $82,214,000 for the Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriations are as follows: (In millions of dollars)
Requirement Congressional Record (including the online Record, the Index, and the bound Record)
22.1 Committee hearings
18.0 Miscellaneous Printing and Binding (including letterheads, envelopes, blank paper, and other products)
13.9 Bills, resolutions, amendments
9.8 Miscellaneous Publications (including the Congressional Directory, the U.S. Code, and serial sets)
4.9 Committee Reports
3.8 Business and Committee Calendars
2.4 Details to Congress
2.0 Committee Prints
1.7 Document Envelopes and Franks
82.2 Part of the increase in our appropriations request over the current year is due to changes in product prices. Price increases are anticipated to increase our funding requirements by $1,899,000 over the current year base, due to the increased costs of employee compensation and benefits (based on existing wage contracts), utilities, maintenance, materials, and supplies. We are continuing to work to minimize the impact of these costs.
The majority of the increase in our request, however, is due to projected workload, or volume, increases. An increase of $5,850,000 over the current year base is required due to anticipated workload increases, based on historical trend data. 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. Most of this increase ($4,366,000) is projected for the Congressional Record program, including the daily Record, the bound Record, and the Record index. Historical data indicates an increase in Record pages in a second session year. Other increases are projected for bills, resolutions, and amendments; committee reports, miscellaneous printing and binding, business and committee calendars, documents, and committee prints. Partially offsetting workload reductions are projected for miscellaneous publications (since the Congressional Directory is printed in a first session year), details to Congress, and hearings. (We have begun work on the Congressional Directory for the 106th Congress.) While these estimates are based on historical factors and represent our best estimates as to the projected workload for the first session of the 106th Congress, actual workload may vary.
Legislative Information Systems. We continue to participate with both the House and the Senate in the development of new legislative information systems that will expand the capability to create and utilize electronic information products in Congress and potentially reduce GPO's printing costs. One objective of these systems is the adoption of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) to permit the submission of machine-readable keystrokes requiring less processing by GPO prior to final production. We are supporting initiatives in both Chambers to facilitate the sharing of information.
Computer-to-Plate Technology.-We are acquiring state-of-the-art computer-toplate (CTP) technology that will reduce costs, improve press-ready plate quality, and expedite the processing of prepress work on many congressional products, including the Congressional Record. The new systems are already in limited operation. CTP technology makes it possible to send electronic text and image files directly to automated platemaking devices, eliminating the need for film negatives and additional labor-intensive manual processes. We are constantly monitoring industry for other technological improvements that can be used in GPO's operations.
SALARIES AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION The programs covered by our request of $31,245,000 for the Salaries and Expenses Appropriation of the Superintendent of Documents are as follows: (In millions of dollars)
Requirements Federal Depository Library Program
26.8 Cataloging and Indexing Program
3.3 By-Law Distribution Program
.6 International Exchange Program
31.2 Mandatory pay increases and price level changes represent $842,000 of the requested increase of $1,981,000. Mandatory pay increases account for $358,000 of this amount. The majority of the increase, $484,000, reflects price level changes calculated at the assumed rate of inflation for the year, or 2.3 percent.
FDLP Electronic Collection. A total of $1,077,000 over the current year base is requested for workload changes, primarily for expenditures associated with managing the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) electronic collection. The collection consists of electronic sources that are within the scope of the FDLP and with which GPO has various levels of involvement: (1) core congressional and regulatory products that reside permanently on GPO servers; (2) other remotely accessible products managed by either GPO or by other institutions with which GPO has established formal partnership agreements; (3) remotely accessible electronic Government information products that GPO identifies, describes, and links to, but which remain under the control of the originating agencies; and (4) tangible electronic Government information products distributed to Federal depository libraries. The collection also has defined responsibilities for life cycle management of electronic Government information products to ensure permanent availability, as well as responsibilities for assisting users in locating information resources.
The collection already consists of over 140,000 electronic titles, including over 85,000 titles on GPO Access itself and almost 48,000 additional titles at agency sites that we link to through our electronic locator services. We are beginning to work with agencies, depository libraries, and other partners to ensure permanent access to these products so they can continue to be used by the public well into the future. Projected expenditures associated with this plan include increased server space and connection capacity for agency originated files that GPO archives; data conversion and migratory costs to prevent technological obsolescence; software to improve searching capabilities; and software to manage data archiving for electronic collection titles. We also anticipate personnel costs associated with a collection manager and reimbursement to Production areas for collection support.
An additional $62,000 increase is required to fund depreciation arising from asset acquisitions, including the establishment of a training center for online access to Government information, new software for the Monthly Catalog of Government Publications, upgrades to our automated depository distribution system, and other improvements.
We are also requesting an increase in the statutory limitation on travel, from $150,000 to $175,000, due primarily to the increasing cost of travel. These funds cover travel by depository library inspectors to libraries around the Nation, travel by GPO staff to attend various library association conferences and meetings, travel of members of the Depository Library Council to Council meetings to serve in an advisory capacity to the Public Printer, and travel by GPO staff nationwide to provide training in the use of GPO Access.
FDLP Transition.—The transition to a more electronic FDLP is continuing, as projected in Study to Identify Measures Necessary for a Successful Transition to a More Electronic Federal Depository Library Program (June 1996), as required by Congress in the Legislative Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1996. The development of the FDLP electronic collection concept is an important element of that transition. Approximately 34 percent of all titles disseminated to depository libraries in fiscal year 1998 were in electronic format.
REVOLVING FUND Fiscal Year 1998 Performance.-After a period of net losses in the early 1990's, GPO completed a second consecutive year of positive bottom line results in fiscal year 1998, generating net income of about $1,000,000 on total revenues of approximately $723,000,000. However, losses were sustained in our procurement and sales areas, and we are reviewing options to restore each of these programs to a sound financial basis. During the year, an audit of GPO's fiscal year 1997 financial reports and systems was conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick, Inc., under contract with the General Accounting Office. The audit resulted in a clean opinion, as have previous GPO financial audits. KPMG has recently completed an audit of GPO's finances for fiscal year 1998. This audit also resulted in a clean opinion on the financial statements.
Infrastructure Costs.Our appropriations request includes a request for $15,000,000 for the revolving fund, to be available until expended, to cover the cost of necessary improvements to GPO's infrastructure and systems. The request includes $8,100,000 for reimbursement of extraordinary expenses required to ensure Y2K compliance (including equipment repairs, replacement, testing, and contingency planning); $6,000,000 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 extraordinary capital expenses through the revolving fund will require us to reimburse the fund through rate adjustments. As these costs are not related to the direct provision of printing and information product services, their impact on our rate structure will be detrimental to our ability to carry out our mission to provide cost-effective and economical products and services. The installation of our air conditioning system in 1974 was funded by a direct appropriation to the revolving fund, and we request that these extraordinary costs be funded similarly.
FTE Level.-We are requesting an increase in the statutory ceiling on employment of full-time equivalents (FTE's) to 3,550, the level established for fiscal year 1998. GPO is now at its lowest employment point in this century. 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. While we were able to perform the demands placed on us for production of the Starr report and Omnibus Appropriations bill materials, our ability to continue providing this level of service is being jeopardized by continued attrition and reductions in our FTE ceiling.
Due to the age of our workforce, we need to replace essential skills. For example, GPO's prepress area is an area with potentially critical staff shortages. The prepress area is essential to Congress—it is where the Congressional Record, bills, reports, hearings, and all other documents essential to the legislative process are assembled for timely delivery both in print and electronic formats. Critical staffing shortages in these areas threaten GPO's ability to perform its mission. In addition, our expanding electronic mission requires an infusion of new technical skills that are not readily available in-house.
Finally, we need additional staffing to fulfill the recommendations of the BoozAllen & Hamilton, Inc., management audit of GPO conducted last year at the request of Congress. The auditors said “[GPO's] Production (Department) must take aggressive action to adequately recruit, train, and retain staff in critical skill areas;" “GPO's information systems security program has been undermined by staff reductions and budget cuts;" GPO's Position Management Branch “lacks effective resources;" and that GPO's aging workforce “leaves the agency at risk of instability. It is becoming increasingly evident that GPO must place more emphasis on maintaining a highly skilled workforce of sufficient size to fulfill the demands placed upon it and to guard against sacrificing the future of the agency as we seek cost savings today. A restoration of our FTE ceiling to 3,550 will provide us with the flexibility we need to make important additions to our workforce.
MISCELLANEOUS LEGISLATIVE CHANGES We are proposing to change section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5) by striking out "$25,000” and inserting in lieu thereof “$100,000”. This would increase GPO's small purchase threshold consistent with the simplified acquisition threshold of $100,000 in operation for other Federal agencies. The change would have no material impact on our Printing Procurement Program, where we will continue to advertise procurement opportunities for jobs of all dollar values. However, it would help streamline the acquisition process we use to acquire materials and supplies for our use, including paper and equipment.
As a technical correction, we are also proposing that the last sentence of section 5595(b) of Title 5 U.S.C., as added by section 309(a)(2) the Fiscal Year Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, should be amended by striking “(a)(1)(G)” and inserting “(a)(1)(C)”.
RETIREMENT INCENTIVE AUTHORITY The Legislative Branch Appropriation Act, 1999, provides authority for a "buyout” retirement incentive program for GPO. The Act requires GPO to submit a plan to the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), or any applicable successor committees, by January 15, 1999. We sent a letter to the Chairman of the JCP by that date, stating that GPO will not offer a retirement incentive at this time based on the services required of us and our already reduced workforce. However, the letter also stated that, should this situation change and a retirement incentive is required within the 3-year period authorized by the legislation—particularly to avoid or minimize the need for involuntary separations—we will develop the requisite plan for the approval of the JCP or any applicable successor committee.
STATUS OF Y2K PREPAREDNESS
We have been reporting to the General Accounting Office (GAO), operating under the direction of Chairman Bennett, on the preparation of our computer systems for compliance with Y2K requirements. The software used in processing the Congressional Record was repaired, tested, and verified as Y2K compliant in February 1998. The hardware utilized for Record processing was tested and found to be Y2K compliant. A live system test of the transmission of Record data from the Office of the Secretary of the Senate was successfully conducted for Y2K-specific conditions.
At this date, all 40 of our active mission-critical systems have been assessed. All 40 have been renovated. Thirty-five of the 40 systems have been validated and implemented. These 35 systems include 100 percent of the mission-critical systems used in producing congressional information products and services. Validation and implementation have yet to be completed on our new integrated processing system (sales of publications program), new general ledger package (financial), PROBE system (for reporting job costs), mainframe conversion (administrative and procurement systems), and automated depository distribution system (depository library program). A major concern remains the ongoing drain through attrition of information technology (IT) professionals from GPO who are assisting in the Y2K preparedness effort. In order to assure Y2K compliance, we are looking to acquire contracting services for independent validation and verification to supplement the stretched resources of our in-house IT areas.
STATUS REPORT ON MANAGEMENT AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS The conference report on the Fiscal Year 1999 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill (H. Rpt. 105–734, p. 42) required GPO to submit an annual report, concurrent with the submission of the annual budget request, on the status of implementation actions on recommendations contained in the Booz-Allen & Hamilton report, “Management Audit of the Government Printing Office” (May 21, 1998). This report contained 95 recommendations for action affecting 7 GPO areas: Overall (3); Marketing, Sales, and Distribution (27); Procured Printing Services (8); In-Plant Production (13); Human Resources (24); Financial Management (12); and Information Technology (8). Implementation action in the various affected GPO areas has been classified according to "action planned," "action ongoing,” “action completed,” “action deferred," "action taken as needed," or "no action currently planned.”
Of the 95 recommendations, action is being taken in a total of 71 cases: action is either planned (8 cases), ongoing (60 cases), or completed (3 cases). This means that GPO either plans to act, is currently acting, or has acted affirmatively on approximately 75 percent of the recommendations contained in the Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc., final report. These include recommendations on planning, program modernization, ensuring finaneial stability, promoting intra-agency communications, and
improving information technology capabilities as well as ensuring preparedness for Y2K. Many of the recommendations for which action is “ongoing are essentially open-ended and would not be expected to reach a formal "completion" stage.
On the remaining recommendations, action has been deferred in 3 cases; in 15 cases action will be taken as necessary; and in 7 cases no action is currently planned (on one recommendation under Sales, Marketing, and Distribution there have been two actions). The recommendations for which no action is currently planned include those to which we objected in our formal comments (i.e., changing the statutory mission of GPO's sales program (the current program is consistent with statutory direction and longstanding Government information dissemination policy); adding an additional shipping charge to our publications prices (these costs are already included in our publications prices); implementing a just-in-time inventory system (this would reduce competition and increase costs in ordering necessary supplies); conducting a study on outsourcing the Congressional Record (language in House/Senate study on the cost-effectiveness of producing all congressional documents); implementing a pay-for-performance compensation plan (contraindicated by Office of Personnel Management studies); creating a Director of Finance position (the current structure is sufficient to GPO's needs and the creation of a new management position goes against GPO efforts to reduce managerial levels); and implementing activity-based costing (GPO's current financial operations, as evidenced by recent audits, are sound, although this could be explored in the future)).
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Y2K COMPLIANT SYSTEMS
Senator BENNETT. In GAO's briefing on the status of Y2K efforts, they tell us that documentation has only been provided for 2 of 40 mission critical systems, that 38 remain to be implemented. They also state that test and contingency plans need to be developed.
Now your testimony, as I understand it, says that only 5 systems remain to be validated and implemented.
This is a fairly big gap between their view and what you are telling us.
Mr. DIMARIO. Yes, sir.
The information that I have received from our people and we have with us Mr. Vince Arendes, whom I have named as the Y2K Program Manager in GPO, and Bob Mansker, who is our Deputy Public Printer. I have assigned Bob the specific duty of dealing with the Y2K compliance. I did that on the first day that he came to work for us. I indicated at previous hearings that he was assigned that duty.
The data that we have been given by our people, which is beyond the last reporting period to GAO, is that of the 74 systems that we have, 40 potentially are impacted by Y2K and are mission critical systems. Of those 40, all have been renovated and there are 5 that haven't been validated and implemented.
Those are the 5 that we are talking about that have not been validated and implemented. Within the 40, we have also identified 18 mission critical products and services. Those have all been validated and are implemented. These include those programs in support of the Congress.
Now I can bring Mr. Arendes to the table because he has more detail on it. But if GAO is giving you that report, it is in direct conflict with what I have been told.