« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Mr. MANSKER. You're talking about actually on-board as opposed to the FTE level?
Senator FEINSTEIN. Right. So, in other words, you have 100 fewer people than you could have and yet you are asking for more, 100 more?
Mr. DIMARIO. On any given day, your FTE level, you may not reach that level because you are hiring people and some people may decide to retire, some people may get injured, they may go on a sick/injured list.
Senator FEINSTEIN. So you are saying you are never up to your full budgeted force?
Mr. DIMARIO. You may be and you may exceed the FTE at a given point. For the year, you cannot exceed the FTE number.
We asked for that kind of specific language a couple of years ago, that it was an FTE count at the end of the year. If it was an FTE count on a daily basis, we would never be able to exceed it.
Mr. MANSKER. The on-board number drops considerably after the first of the year because there are a lot of retirements.
When the list comes through of separations as well as hiring, the separations right after January were very large because of retirements. That drops the on-board. But you immediately turn around and try to start filling them.
Mr. DIMARIO. We've got vacancy announcements out. We are trying to hire people to fill those jobs.
Mr. MANSKER. So that is going to go back up and the average will be much higher than the number of current on boards.
Senator FEINSTEIN. Are you saying you always function at 100 below your on-board level?
Mr. DIMARIO. No, no.
Mr. DIMARIO. The number varies day by day. On-board strength-you are always hiring. People leave. It's true.
That number will change on a daily basis.
Senator FEINSTEIN. I don't doubt that. But maybe the best way to pursue this is to ask you to present it in writing to us.
Mr. DIMARIO. Sure.
Senator FEINSTEIN. In this way we would have the monthly onboard levels for the past year, in writing.
Mr. DIMARIO. Sure.
Senator FEINSTEIN. Then maybe we can take a look at that with some clarity. I would appreciate that very much.
[The information follows:)
GPO monthly on-board employment, March 1998-February 1999 1998:
3,506 3,489 3,474 3,455 3,439 3,445 3,435 3,409 3,397 3,387
GPO monthly on-board employment, March 1998-February 1999—Continued 1999: January
INTEGRATED PROCESSING SYSTEM
Senator FEINSTEIN. Let me ask you one quick thing about the IPS system.
Mr. DIMARIO. Yes. Mr. Buckley can answer that.
Mr. BUCKLEY. The Integrated Processing System is to replace our order management process, the whole order management process, from taking orders, the control of the inventory, financial reporting, producing picking tickets for shipping the materials, et cetera.
It is replacing 18 old legacy systems that were not integrated previously. So it is quite a complex process.
We have received delivery from our contractor of the basic system and modifications. But there are a number of bugs in the software that we are now testing and having remediated. So the delays have been, actually, in integration of the new software that we are getting and testing it for all of the very complex functions that we do, both in terms of orders for single publications and orders for subscriptions. We operate quite a complex order fulfillment process in the sales program because we are a governmental function, and because of the variety of publications and products that we offer.
Senator FEINSTEIN. When will it be fully implemented?
We will be able to test and should have it, the critical systems, tested and operational, within a month. But then we will go through a process of training the staff before we actually implement it on August 1.
Mr. DIMARIO. When I brought Mr. Buckley on board, the one program I asked him to pay personal attention to and told him that he was required to be responsible for was IPS, to bring that system in because I believe it to be so critical to the system.
It's exactly the same thing that I did when I hired Mr. Mansker. I asked him to pay attention to and manage the Y2K program.
So those two programs have had the two highest level people, subordinate to me, responsible for those programs-short of managing them myself.
Senator FEINSTEIN. I think I got the answer, which is that you expect it to be fully operational August 1. That will go down in the record.
It is my understanding that some of the agencies are delinquent in paying you and that has some impact on your operations. Which agencies account for most of the delinquencies?
Mr. DIMARIO. In the past, the Department of Defense has been the agency that has been most delinquent. They always run behind.
Bob may have some more definitive information on it. But we have attempted to work with the Department of Defense. I have
spoken to their manager, their Defense Automated Printing Service on it. We have seen some improvements in the past on it.
But that was the most delinquent single agency.
Mr. MANSKER. That is still the agency_that is most delinquent. However, we are working with them on Treasury's electronic payment system and on a new credit card system of payment which I think will greatly improve that.
Senator FEINSTEIN. Thank you very much
ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE QUESTIONS We have some additional questions which we will submit to you in writing
Mr. DIMARIO. Yes, sir.
Senator BENNETT. We thank you for being here and good luck to you on these various challenges.
Mr. DIMARIO. 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. GPO testified before the House Legislative Subcommittee last month that it would complete the implementation phase by the end of March. GPO's testimony today states that 5 systems remain to be implemented. Will those 5 systems be completed in the next 2 weeks?
Answer. No, the 5 systems that we addressed in our testimony before the Senate are replacement projects that for various reasons have encountered delays and now have implementation dates beyond March 1999.
Question. Based on GPO's assessment that it has tested 35 systems, and has 5 remaining, do you have test and contingency plans in writing for the remaining 5 systems and when do you anticipate completing testing?
Answer. The current status of the 5 replacement projects follows:
New Integrated Processing System.-At the present time we are reviewing and testing the contractor's modified system that has been delivered and installed. This review is identifying processing and program errors that are being submitted to the contractor for software repairs. This phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 1999. The next phase will be a full functional test and the final phase will be to train all Documents personnel on the new system. This training will be completed within 3 months and the implementation of the new Integrated Processing System is scheduled for August 1, 1999.
New General Ledger Package.—The new General Ledger database software has been installed and 11 months of data for fiscal year 1998 have been loaded. Our testing plans call for finalizing fiscal year 1998 and loading data for fiscal year 1999 through the financial reporting period of February 1999. After parallel testing the financial statements for March and April, the live implementation of the new General Ledger is planned for the end of May 1999.
PROBĚ System.-We are currently testing the new system hardware and software. Implementation of the new system devices for the first area selected for installation is planned for the beginning of May 1999. The replacement devices will continue to be installed throughout all areas of GPO with a completion date for full implementation of all collection devices (110) scheduled for September 1999.
Mainframe Conversion Project. The new mainframe has been installed and the OS 390 operating system has been loaded and tested. The switch over to the new system is currently planned for the third weekend in April 1999. At that time, all of GPO's mainframe application systems will be operational in the new OS 390 environment. However, not all of the other proprietary system software components that are needed for the applications to run will be at their Y2K compliant versions. The migration to a fully Y2K compliant platform on the mainframe will take an additional 2 months. The scheduled Y2K verification and implementation date for all existing mainframe applications on the new mainframe platform is the end of June 1999.
Automated Depository Distribution System.—The proposal for the replacement equipment and software changes required to upgrade the existing Lighted Bin System is ready to be submitted to the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) for approval. The entire project is scheduled for completion within 180 days after the JCP approval is received.
Question. The request includes $15 million for the revolving fund for items that a business would consider capital expenses-Y2K costs, air conditioning, and elevator renovations. It is my understanding that GPO is supposed to build into its charges overhead costs which are then deposited in the revolving fund and used for these types of projects. Even if you discount for the Y2K problem, why is GPO requesting funds to pay for items that should have already been budgeted for in the pricing structure?
Answer. You are correct, in part, that the “GPO is supposed to build into its charges overhead costs which are then deposited in the revolving fund and used for these types of projects.” That statement can only be implemented if the GPO is allowed to do so.
Title 44, Section 309 specifically states that “the Public Printer shall provide capital for the fund” for the Agency's necessities “except building structures and land.” The air conditioning system and the elevators, as installed real property, are considered to be within the exception which requires appropriations-just as occurred in 1974 when the Congress directly appropriated $7.4 million for the current air conditioning system.
Until 1990, GPO operated on the policy of covering all of the necessary expenses of the Agency, other than building structures and land, through funds that were deposited in the revolving fund. The revolving fund maintained a reasonable balance to adequately achieve our planning objectives. We were able to keep approximately $50 million of uncommitted-unrestricted funds for that use. If the revolving fund was significantly reduced by needed expenditures, we would adjust our prices to recover to the adequate position.
In that year, however, the process was changed by the Joint Committee on Printing. By their directive, we were not permitted to raise our prices on our printing products. The directive of the Joint Committee remained in effect for four years, and the impact on the revolving fund and our operations was catastrophic. The burden of increased costs of raw materials and labor had to be borne by the funds in the revolving fund—thereby eliminating the needed funds "that should have been budgeted for in the pricing structure?”.
In those years when the directive of the Joint Committee was in effect, our operating losses skyrocketed—not because of the manner in which we were operating, rather because of the restrictions that was placed on us by the Joint Committee. It was not until Chairman Thomas, after seeing the devastating effect the directive had on our operations, directed us to recover our costs of operations through our pricing structure did we begin to come out of our dilemma.
Y2K costs which we seek to recover through direct appropriation have also come from the already severely depleted revolving fund. We seek an appropriation for only $8.1 million, which does not take into account any expenditures that were already in the planning schedule prior to Y2K becoming an issue nor any labor costs of GÞO employees. The appropriations request is an accounting of only those funds that would otherwise not have been spent.
And, Senator, in addition to all the above, the Congress directed us to use up to $11 million of revolving fund money to fund our own appropriation for Congressional Printing and Binding in 1998, of which $3.7 million was required.
For the past two years, we have recovered to the point of positive incomes slightly above break-even. Even with the end-of-year positive balance, our uncommitted-unrestricted money continues to be severely diminished and is impacted by congressional work schedules. We do not draw direct appropriations; we only draw from the Congressional Printing and Binding appropriation when we provide support to the Congress.
So, to recap the situation, our appropriations request includes $15 million for the revolving fund for capital expenses-Y2K costs, air conditioning, and elevator renovations for two reasons: (1) Title 44, Section 309 takes "building structures and land” out of the classifications that are designated to be funded by the revolving fund, and (2) Even if one concludes differently from (1) above, the managerial directives of the Congress since 1990 have virtually destroyed our ability to pay for these projects out of the revolving fund without severely endangering our ability to timely
recover the committed-unrestricted funds of the revolving fund that are used during lean periods of production.
Question. The budget requests $6 million for an air conditioning system. Last year when this issue was raised this Committee directed GPO to seek authorization from the oversight committee for a total plan for capital upgrades. Have you developed a total plan and secured approval from the authorization committee?
Answer. In 1996 and again last year, we submitted an appropriation request for $6 million for air conditioning repairs—the same amount that we are requesting this year. The need is even greater now. We are fortunate that the system prevailed during a relatively mild summer. We sought authorization from the Joint Committee on Printing and submitted “a total plan for capital upgrades”.
The approval of our request was entangled in the Joint Committee's efforts to get S. 2288 through the Senate; however, we were never given any reason, other than verbal, for inaction on our request. At this time, we are hopeful that the Joint Committee will approve this project in the very near future; however, we must have the funding available to accomplish the needed repairs.
Question. The testimony noted that the procurement and sales areas lost revenue. How does the procurement area lose revenue when a surcharge is placed on each printing job? Does GPO have a plan to turn the procurement and sales areas around?
Answer. GPO's Printing Procurement Program seeks to fully recover its costs through a surcharge of 6 percent (with a ceiling of $15,000 per job) and historically comes very close to this goal with a slight surplus or loss at the end of each year. This program fully recovered its costs in fiscal year 1996 and had a modest under recovery in fiscal year 1997 of only .4 percent. However, the unexpected drop in paper prices to historic lows during the past year, along with a $1,000,000 cost allocation for the Booz-Allen Hamilton study combined for an under recovery of 1.5 percent, or $7 million during fiscal year 1998.
To deal with this under recovery, GPO has been actively reducing its operating costs as it implements a new LAN-based computer system throughout the Printing Procurement Department. This new system will provide both personnel savings and speed the processing of orders. Additionally, with the assistance of our customer agencies, we have undertaken a review of the surcharge system and rates, and are establishing new simplified purchasing agreements to increase work and improve services. Paper prices now appear to be recovering and experienced a modest increase last quarter. We are hopeful that these combined efforts will result in full recovery of costs for the printing procurement program during fiscal year 1999.
In fiscal year 1998, the Sales Program under recovered costs by $3.6 million on revenue of $60.6 million. This compares to net income of $1.8 million in fiscal year 1997 on revenue of $67.8 million. Revenue from key Sales Program products has been declining in recent years. Reasons for this decline include increased access to these products through competitive print and online products offered for sale by private sector entities or other Government agencies such as the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), as well as through no-fee access via GPO's web site. In addition, a decline in Government agency publishing has resulted in fewer printed information products available through the Sales Program. Sales Program management is currently conducting an intensive review to determine ways to increase revenue, decrease expenses, and introduce more print and electronic products into the program.
The Sales Program is taking a number of steps to increase the availability of its products through the use of electronic commerce. The program's online Sales Product Catalog (SRC) is accessible by the public via GPO's web site, and in the next few weeks, new encryption software will ensure secure ordering. The electronic file of the SPC can also be downloaded via FTP from GPO's Federal Bulletin Board. The program is establishing an online Government bookstore on the World Wide Web and has begun listing selected sales titles on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers web sites.
The Sales Program is also working with publishing agencies to increase the number of their salable products in GPO's sales inventory. General customer satisfaction and product-specific customer surveys are being used to understand and improve Sales Program services to the public. A new category of sales products deemed to be of historical significance has been created to ensure long-term public access to such titles.
Question. The testimony notes that overtime utilization has increased by 11 percent in the past year and that employment levels are dangerously low. What has GPO done to cross train current employees from areas that are under utilized to assist in areas that are busier and require overtime?