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from CSRS to FERS. I believe the chairman of the committee was the sponsor of that amendment, and I believe its purpose was to allow those who might somehow be disadvantaged under CSRS to switch to FERS during this six-month window this year. As I understand it, this could amount to a substantial cost for large agencies and departments of the Federal government.
Do you have any ideas as to the number of GAO personnel who, at the present time, are under CSRS and who might take this opportunity to change to the FERS system?
What would be the cost, if any, to your budget for any employee who did so, and what would be the total anticipated cost?
Answer. GAO projects that at July 1, 1998, the beginning of the 6-month "openseason” period, it will have 1,880 employees covered under the CSRS retirement system who could switch to the FERS system. It is difficult to predict how many employees will switch when provided the opportunity.
Currently, GAO's contribution towards Medicare and retirement benefits for an employee who participates in the CSRS retirement system is about 10 percent of the employee's annual salary. GAO's contribution towards social security and retirement benefits for an employee in FERS is about 23 percent of the employee's annual salary. Therefore, the additional cost to GAO for any employee who switches from CSRŚ to FERS could be about 13 percent of their salary. The actual cost per employee will depend upon the employee's actual earnings and level of participation in the Thrift Savings Plan.
To estimate the potential cost impact to GAO of the "open-season”, GAO has developed estimates assuming that 5, 10, or 20 percent of the eligible employees would transfer from CSRS to FERS. GAO's estimate of the number of employees and the related cost impact under these assumptions are shown in the following table. At the time GAO's fiscal year 1999 budget request was submitted, the President's veto of the open season provision had not been set aside. GAO's fiscal year 1999 budget request, therefore, does not include any funds to cover this potential cost increase.
ESTIMATED COST INCREASE IF GAO EMPLOYEES SWITCH FROM CSRS TO FERS DURING JULY
DECEMBER 1998 "OPEN SEASON"
Estimated number of staff transferring from CSRS to FERS
375 Annual cost increase beginning in fiscal year 1999 1
$790,024 $1,595,186 $3,163,950 Cost estimate assumes that eligible employees have transferred from CSRS to FERS by the beginning of the fiscal year.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
ROBERT MANSKER, DEPUTY PUBLIC PRINTER
Senator BENNETT. Our third witness is the Honorable Michael DiMario, the Public Printer, representing the Government Printing Office (GPO).
Mr. DIMARIO. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BENNETT. Good morning. In the last year there have been some large projects involving the Government Printing Office that I trust you will hear about. GAO has been coordinating a management review, which is not before us, but I understand will be completed shortly.
The Joint Committee on Printing has been working on title 44 legislation, expected to be introduced in a few weeks, which will also affect your lives in a variety of ways. So we look forward to hearing your testimony.
Mr. DIMARIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to be with you this morning to present the funding requirements of the Government Printing Office for fiscal year 1999. With me are my Deputy_Public Printer, Bob Mansker, to my right; the Superintendent of Documents, Fran Buckley, to my left; and my Budget Officer, Bill Guy, also to my right.
Both Bob Mansker and Fran Buckley are newcomers to GPO, Bob spent many years as a staff member of the House, and later on the Joint Committee on Printing. Fran comes from the library community, where he was associate director of the Detroit Public Library, and later director of the Shaker Heights Public Library.
I am extremely happy to have them onboard at GPO, and I believe that they will be a real asset in our day-to-day dealings with both Congress and the public.
In the interest of time, I will summarize my prepared statement, which I have submitted for the record. Senator BENNETT. Without objection, it will be printed.
PUBLIC PRINTER'S STATEMENT Mr. DIMARIO. For fiscal year 1999 we are requesting a total of $114.2 million for those programs that require appropriations directly through GPO. The request includes $84 million for the congressional printing and binding appropriation, and $30.2 million for the salaries and expenses appropriation for the Superintendent of Documents. This is an increase of $3.5 million, or about 3.1 percent, over the level of funding approved for fiscal year 1998, including the one-time transfer of approximately $11 million from our revolving fund to the congressional printing and binding appropriation.
The congressional printing and binding appropriation is critical to the maintenance and operation of our in-plant capacity, which is structured to serve the information product needs of the legislative process in Congress. The majority of the Superintendent of Documents salaries and expenses appropriation is for the depository library program.
While some of the funding for this program is for salaries and benefits, most is for producing and disseminating publications to depository libraries, including publications in CD-ROM's and online formats.
This appropriation also provides the majority of the funding for the operation of GPO Access, which is the basis for our ability to transition the depository program to an electronic future.
We are cooperating with the General Accounting Office in its efforts to assess the status of year 2000 readiness in all legislative branch agencies following your direction, Mr. Chairman. Our proposal to bring our mainframe operating system into year 2000 compliance has been approved. We have formed an internal year 2000 program management office to work with GAO, and have appointed year 2000 coordinators throughout GPO.
We are undertaking efforts to convert, replace, or retire existing systems to ensure that they are year 2000 compliant, and we ar assuring that all ongoing and planned improvements to our computer systems are year 2000 compliant. We are confident that the steps we are taking
now will ensure the continuity of product and service provision to Congress, Federal agencies, and the public.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my opening statement, and I will be happy 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 today to present the funding requirements of the Government Printing Office (GPO) for fiscal year 1999.
GPO KEEPS AMERICA INFORMED An abiding 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 inplant 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 catalog and index Government information
products so they can be identified and retrieved by users. -We also disseminate a massive volume of information online via the Internet
with GPO Access. Recent data show that more than 10.5 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. 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 committed 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.
At the bottom line, our programs reduce the need for duplicative production facilities throughout the Government, achieve significant taxpayer savings through a centralized production and procurement system, and enhance public access to Government information, which is increasingly valuable to all Americans in the Information Age.
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 1999 APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST For fiscal year 1999, we are requesting $114.2
million for those programs that require annual appropriations directly to GPO. The request includes $84 million for the Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation and $30.2 million for the Salaries and Expenses Appropriation of the Superintendent of Documents.
Our total request is an increase of $3.5 million, or 3.1 percent, over the level of funding approved for fiscal year 1998. Our fiscal year 1998 funding includes a onetime transfer of approximately $11 million from our revolving fund to the Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation. As our budget submission shows on pages l-2 and 1-3, GPO's appropriations have remained relatively stable for several years (in fact, declining by 7 percent from fiscal year 1993 through fiscal year 1998), and have declined substantially in real purchasing power.
The Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation is critical to the maintenance and operation of our inplant capacity, which is structured to serve Congress' information product needs. The 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 1997, more than 1.3 billion copy pages of congressional products were produced at an average cost of less than 4 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 Appro priation 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 provides the majority of funding for the operation of GPO Access.