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This budget, prepared by Chairman Kweisi Mfume of the 103rd Congress, does not reflect the changes that will be affected by Chairman Connie Mack of the 104th Congress.


Congress of the United States
Joint Committee on Printing

WASHINGTON, DC 205 10-6650
(202) 224-5241

December 15, 1994

The Honorable Ron Packard
Chairman-Elect, Subcommittee on
Legislative Branch Appropriations
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The Joint Committee on Printing hereby transmits its budget estimate of $1,414,000 covering the operations and oversight activities of the Joint Committee for Fiscal Year 1996. Included within this letter is a presentation of activities and projects which the Joint Committee has addressed within the past year.

Jurisdiction, Authority and Responsibilities

The Joint Committee on Printing is empowered under Title 44, United States Code, to act as the policymaker and overseer of printing, binding and distribution activities of the Federal Government, and functions as the "Board of Directors" for the Government Printing Office (GPO).

Section 103, Title 44, United States Code, gives the Joint Committee legislative authority to "...use any measures it considers necessary to remedy neglect, delay, duplication or waste in the public printing and binding and the distribution of Government publications". The Joint Committee has aggressively followed this mandate by promoting cost-effective and efficient printing and dissemination policies across all branches of the Government.

The Joint Committee has continued to actively carry out its oversight responsibilities of GPO and the Federal Printing Program despite serious Executive Branch challenges to its authority. While it is likely there will be additional legislative proposals emerging within the 104th Congress affecting this Committee and GPO, I believe the Joint Committee on Printing plays a vital and essential role for the Congress in monitoring and containing printing and duplicating excesses throughout the Government and ensuring the American public has the widest possible access to government-created information at the lowest possible cost.

The Joint Committee has heightened its focus during the past fiscal year on GPO's financial status to more adequately provide low-cost service to Congress and the Federal Government. The Agency has experienced serious financial losses and the Committee mandated that efforts be made to correct the situation. These actions, detailed later in this

letter, did yield a more favorable financial result in the last quarter of FY 1994, but much remains to be done in order to bring the Agency back into a permanent solid financial status.




Reinforcing GPO's Role as the Primary Source for Government Printing

In Fiscal Year 1994, the Joint Committee sought and received further assistance in revised Legislative Branch Appropriations language to reinforce Government printing through GPO. Public Law 103-283, revised section 207 of P.L. 102-392, by adding the term "duplicating" within the definition of printing. Section 207 now requires that with some exceptions, executive agency printing and duplicating procurements must be made by or through the Government Printing Office. The restriction includes not only procurements from commercial contractors, but also procurements from other Government organizations that have operated expanded facilities and are offering printing and duplicating services to other agencies at higher costs than GPO furnished services.

The "duplicating" amendment, which was offered by Senator Conrad Burns during Senate deliberation of the bill, is intended to minimize Government printing and duplicating expenses by utilizing the economies of scale associated with GPO as the central economical source for the procurement and distribution of Federal printing. It does not apply to individual Agency in-house printing or duplicating facilities that provide direct support for that same agency.

The President, on signing the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill into law, issued a statement expressing his concerns about constitutional conflicts. He narrowly interpreted the section 207 amendment to mean that GPO would be restricted to procurement of documents intended primarily for distribution to and use by the general public. In addition, he also interpreted the term "duplicating" to be read to encompass only the reproduction inherent in traditional printing processes and not reproduced by other means, such as laser printers or photocopying machines.

On August 9, 1994, I asked the Comptroller General, General Accounting Office (GAO), to provide the Joint Committee on Printing with an interpretation of the provisions of section 207, P.L. 103-283, as well as an opinion on the effect of the amendment on executive branch printing contracts. On September 30, 1994, the Comptroller General responded by confirming that section 207 was binding and enforceable for the procurement of all government publications including work done on high-speed copiers, regardless of the President's interpretation. In addition, GAO determined that unless authorized under one of the exceptions to section 207, contractors performing such work directly for executive agencies may not be paid. Agencies procuring such "duplicating" work directly from outside sources in violation of section 207... "may not pay the claims of contractors performing the work". Prior to the amendment, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel had previously determined that restrictions in section 207 apply not only to procurement from commercial contractors, but also to procurements from other governmental organizations that have offered printing and duplicating services. GAO confirmed the application of the

On September 19, 1994, the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum which stated that the leadership of the Congressional committees of jurisdiction had agreed to work with the Administration to produce a legislative approach to achieve a comprehensive reform of Federal printing in the 104th Congress. The

memorandum also stated that the "status quo" will be maintained through FY 1995 regarding present printing and duplicating arrangements.

Although the memorandum did not clarify presently what "status quo" meant, it stated that existing agency in-house printing and duplicating operations and agency crossservicing arrangements (e.g. GSA's provision of duplicating services to other agencies in field locations) may continue to operate "normally". This provision appears to be contrary to the Comptroller General's opinion, and existing law. Consequently, I have again asked the Comptroller General for his assistance in reviewing Executive Agency compliance with the section 207 provisions. That review is underway and the Committee will be receiving monthly updates on its status during the term of the review.

While many Executive Branch agencies have willingly complied with the provisions of the law, the General Services Administration continues to claim they have authority to provide duplicating services for other agencies and is actively seeking all types of work. Their continued solicitation of other agency printing and duplicating work despite the prior legal opinions of Justice and GAO has created confusion and resulted in additional costs for Agencies utilizing them for their printing and/or duplicating requirements as well as deflected needed work from GPO.

2. ICP Initiatives, Policies and Activities Affecting Executive Branch Printing Activities

The trend today within Federal Agencies is the elimination of traditional printing plants and the establishment of duplicating centers which utilize very expensive high-speed, high-volume duplicating equipment. While the Joint Committee does not have a policy requiring formal reporting of these duplicating centers and does not regulate the types of equipment being acquired for these centers, many Agencies still seek the expertise and approval of the Joint Committee prior to taking final action. As a result of this continued cooperation, the Joint Committee was able to achieve $10 million in cost savings during FY 1994.

A. Printing Plant Rechartering

The Joint Committee on Printing has long maintained that in-house printing and duplicating operations are more costly to the Federal Government, and that substantial savings can be achieved by contracting this work through GPO's Federal Printing Program to the private sector on a competitive bid basis. In Fiscal Year 1993, the Joint Committee, in conjunction with GPO technical staff, actively began a review of Executive Branch authorized printing plants to determine the true need for the existence of these facilities. During that year, 38 plants were downgraded to duplicating status. Due to the fact the Department of Defense operated the largest number of printing plants, they were also the leaders in closing 20 of the 38 dechartered facilities. In Fiscal Year 1994, the Defense Printing Service (DPS) disestablished another 15 printing plants and 7 on board Navy ships. Cost savings related to

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