Government Printing Office:

Actions to Strengthen and Sustain GPO's Transformation

GAO-04-830: Published: Jun 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2004.

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The transformation of the Government Printing Office (GPO) is under way. This report captures the results of our efforts over the past year to assess and help strengthen GPO's transformation and strategic planning efforts. It is the final part of GAO's response to both a mandate requiring GAO to examine the current state of printing and dissemination of public government information and a congressional request that we conduct a general management review of GPO focusing on that GPO's transformation and management.

Federal government printing and dissemination are changing due to the underlying changes to the technological environment. The Public Printer and his leadership team understand the effects of this technological change on GPO and have begun an ambitious effort to transform GPO and reexamine its mission. Federal agencies are publishing more documents directly to the Web and are doing more of their printing and dissemination of information without using GPO services. At the same time, the public is obtaining government information from government Web sites such as GPO Access rather than purchasing paper copies. As a result, GPO has seen declines in its printing volumes, printing revenues, and document sales. To assist in the transformation process under way at GPO, GAO convened a panel of printing and information dissemination experts, who developed a series of options for GPO to consider in its strategic planning. The panel suggested that GPO (1) develop a business plan to focus its mission on information dissemination as its primary goal, rather than printing; (2) demonstrate to its customers the value it can provide; (3) improve and extend partnerships with agencies to help establish itself as an information disseminator; and (4) ensure that its internal operations are adequate for efficient and effective management of core business functions and for service to its customers. GPO can also use other key practices that GAO identified to help agencies successfully transform, such as involving employees to obtain their ideas and gain their ownership for the transformation. GPO fully applied one of these practices, related to ensuring that top management drives the transformation, and has partially implemented each of the remaining eight practices. To fully implement the remaining practices, GPO needs to take actions including establishing its mission and strategic goals and developing a documented plan for its transformation. GPO has taken some initial steps to adopt the best practices of other public and private sector organizations, most notably with respect to human capital management. GPO is actively implementing the recommendations GAO made in October 2003. For example, GPO reorganized the human capital office into customer-focused teams devoted to meeting the human capital needs of GPO's operating units. Continued leadership attention is needed to build on the initial progress made in information technology and financial management. For example, GPO should implement an information technology investment management process to help management choose, monitor, and evaluate projects, and GPO should train its line managers to effectively use financial data.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) reported that certain practices are instrumental in achieving financial management excellence and helping GPO achieve its transformation goals. These practices include redefining the role of finance by assessing how a financial management office meets the objectives of the organization's mission. Our report noted that GPO was in need of transformation and that the Public Printer had acknowledged that GPO had sustained financial losses over the past 5 years. As such, we recommended that GPO recognize the importance of financial management and reporting in strategic plans for transformation. In 2008, GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, GPO has established specific financial metrics to assist in strategic planning, which are tied to the agency's strategic goals through GPO's balanced score card (the instrument GPO uses to track its performance and the status of its initiatives). GPO stated that these financial metrics have been used to monitor performance and develop corrective actions when necessary. For example, GPO has used its financial metrics to manage its projects by changing project team assignments and revising project objectives and plans. Additionally, GPO stated that it has improved its focus on financial reporting by providing more detailed budgets and clarifying where GPO's projects stand in relationship to these detailed budgets.

    Recommendation: We recommend that GPO recognize the importance of financial management and reporting in strategic plans for transformation.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that performance measures are important for establishing accountability because they allow leaders to perform their management control responsibilities for monitoring performance and ensuring resolution of identified performance gaps. We also stated that, while not required to follow the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), adopting GPRA practices mandated for executive agencies could help GPO to focus its transformation efforts. Our guidance on the evaluation of GPRA performance plans states that performance data should be complete, accurate, and consistent to document performance and support decision making. However, some agencies have recognized that collecting data can be difficult and costly. As such, we recommended that GPO leadership recognize the cost and effort involved in gathering and analyzing performance data and make sure that the data it collects are sufficiently complete, accurate, and consistent to be useful in decision making. In response to our recommendation, GPO reported in 2008 that it uses "SMART" principles (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to develop its performance measures. Additionally, GPO reported that its senior executives review the use of its performance data and measures on a monthly basis to ensure that its measures continue to provide complete, accurate, consistent, and useful information.

    Recommendation: Second, GPO leadership needs to recognize the cost and effort involved in gathering and analyzing performance data and make sure that the data is collects are sufficiently complete, accurate, and consistent to be useful in decision making.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that performance measures are important because they allow leaders to perform their management control responsibility for monitoring performance and ensuring resolution of identified performance gaps. We also stated that, while not required to follow the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), adopting the practices mandated for executive agencies by GPRA could help GPO focus its transformation efforts. Our guidance on the evaluation of GPRA performance plans states that performance measures should be linked directly to the offices that have responsibility for making programs work. A clear connection between performance measures and program offices helps to both reinforce accountability and ensure that, in their day-to-day activities, managers keep in mind the outcomes their organization is striving to achieve. To that end, we recommended that the measures that GPO develops be responsibility-linked to establish accountability for results. GPO reported in 2008 that, in response to our recommendation, performance measures in support of organizational goals are now linked to the business unit responsible for that goal through use of its balanced score card.

    Recommendation: First, the measures that GPO develops should be responsibility-linked to establish accountability for results.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that performance measures are important because they allow leaders to monitor performance and ensure resolution of identified performance gaps. We also stated that, while not required to follow the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), adopting GPRA practices could help GPO focus its transformation efforts. Our 1998 guidance on the evaluation of GPRA performance plans states that, when developing performance measures, agencies must take into account that most programs are forced to strike difficult balances among competing demands. These competing demands generally include program cost, service quality, customer satisfaction, and other stakeholder concerns. As such, our 2004 report recommended that GPO develop measures that are responsive to multiple priorities. In June 2008, GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, GPO's 2008 balanced score card details initiatives and performance measures that address each of the agency's five strategic goals, which incorporate GPO efforts to address the needs and concerns of their external stakeholders. For example, four of the five strategic goals address GPO's ability to provide the public, Congress, and federal agency customers with needed products and services. Additionally, one of GPO's strategic goals focuses on developing an organizational culture that seeks to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of GPO's internal operations. Performance measures used in the balance scorecard track progress on the various initiatives associated with these strategic goals.

    Recommendation: First, the measures that GPO develops should be responsive to multiple priorities.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that measures are important for establishing accountability because they allow leaders to perform their management control responsibilities for monitoring performance gaps. Our report noted that GPO had the opportunity to learn from the practices of leading organizations that implemented results-oriented management. GAO has previously reported that, among other things, such leading organizations generally developed measures that cover the key performance dimensions that will enable an organization to assess accomplishments, make decisions, realign processes, and assign accountability. Organizations that seek to manage an excessive number of performance measures may risk creating a confusing excess of data that will obscure rather than clarify performance issues. As such we recommended that the measures GPO develops be limited to the vital few that are considered essential to producing data for decision making. In 2008 GPO officials reported that, in response to our recommendation, GPO has developed a balanced score card, which includes an executive summary that aggregates the progress of numerous initiatives supporting the agency's five strategic goals. The effect of this aggregation is to provide the Public Printer and agency leaders with a single page of vital data illustrating the agency's progress toward achieving its goals.

    Recommendation: First, the measures that GPO develops should be limited to the vital few that are considered essential to producing data for decision making.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that measures are important for establishing accountability because they allow leaders to perform their management control responsibilities for monitoring performance and ensuring resolution of identified performance gaps. We noted that GPO's Chief Operating Officer recognized the need for GPO to strengthen its performance measurement as GPO set goals for fiscal year 2005. To that end, we recommended that the measures that GPO develops be tied to program goals and demonstrate the degree to which the desired results were achieved. In 2008, GPO officials reported that, in response to this recommendation, GPO developed a balanced score card, which presents each of the agency's initiatives and performance measures that are tied to business unit objectives and agency-wide strategic goals. The balanced score card also illustrates the progress made on each of the initiatives.

    Recommendation: First, the measures that GPO develops should be tied to program goals and demonstrate the degree to which the desired results were achieved.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that we have identified a number of key practices and related implementation steps that have consistently been found at the center of successful transitions. While we found that GPO had applied some key practices as part of its transformation effort, it had not fully applied key practices that emphasize planning and goal setting. For example, GPO had not developed a plan for its transformation that would include goals and strategies to achieve its goals. As such, we recommended that the Public Printer reinforce a focus on results by continuing efforts to set goals, measure performance, and hold managers accountable by adopting leading practices of organizations that have been successful in measuring their performance. In 2008 GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, GPO had researched and implemented several best practices related to performance measurement. For example, the balanced scorecard, which GPO uses to track its performance in relation to the strategic goals, was adopted after researching the performance management practices of other organizations such as Best Buy, Hilton Hotels, and Defense Finance and Accounting Services.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should reinforce a focus on results by continuing efforts to set goals, measure performance, and hold managers accountable by adopting leading practices of organizations that have been successful in measuring their performance.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that leading organizations have generally developed performance measures that demonstrated the degree to which the desired results were achieved. We noted that GPO's Chief Operating Officer recognized the need for GPO to strengthen its performance measurement as GPO set goals for fiscal year 2005. As such, we recommended that the Public Printer ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a description of program evaluations used to establish or revise strategic goals, and a schedule for future program evaluations. Although GPO has implemented numerous efforts to track progress made on their goals, objectives, and initiatives, GPO has not provided evidence that it plans to conduct any program evaluations on its strategic planning process. As such, GPO has not implemented this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a description of program evaluations used to establish or revise strategic goals, and a schedule for future program evaluations.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Federal government printing and dissemination are changing due to the underlying changes to the technological environment. The Public Printer and his leadership team understand the effects of this technological change on GPO and have begun an ambitious effort to transform GPO and reexamine its mission. GAO recommended that the Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes an identification of key external factors to help determine what actions will be needed to meet GPO's goals. To assist in that process, GAO assembled an expert panel, which developed a series of factors for GPO to consider in its planning. GPO used the results of the expert panel to inform its strategic plan and address external factors such as the explosion of digital information, advances in technology, and needed legislative authorities. Understanding and addressing GPO's changing environment is central to the success of GPO's transformation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a description of an identification of key external factors to help determine what actions will be needed to meet the goals.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that, while GPO is not required to follow the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the act could provide a relevant framework for GPO to follow in developing its strategic plan. GPRA requires that strategic plans include, among other elements, goals and objectives as well as approaches or strategies to achieve goals and objectives. This framework can help an agency meet management control standards by enabling top management review of actual performance against planned performance. To that end, we recommended that the Public Printer ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a description of the relationship between the long-term and annual goals to show expected progress. In 2008, GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, annual objectives and initiatives are linked to long-term strategic goals through the agency's balanced score card, which is used to track GPO's performance in achieving strategic goals. Additionally, the balanced scorecard executive summary includes a description of the purpose of each initiative which links, ultimately to the strategic goal.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a description of the relationship between the long-term and annual goals to show expected progress.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Adopting leading practices for results-oriented strategic planning and reporting--including approaches or strategies to achieve goals and objectives--can help focus transformation efforts. GAO recommended that the Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of approaches or strategies to achieve goals and objectives to align GPO's activities, core processes, and resources to support achievement of GPO's strategic goals and mission. GPO's strategic plan, issued on December 1, 2004, includes a description of strategies associated with GPO's goals and objectives. These strategies support GPO's transformation by clearly identifying how GPO will align its activities, core processes, and resources to accomplish its goals and objectives.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of approaches or strategies to achieve goals and objectives to align GPO's activities, core processes, and resources to support achievement of GPO's strategic goals and mission.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Strategic plans should include goals and objectives which can help an agency focus its transformation efforts and meet management control standards by enabling top management review of actual performance against planned performance. GAO recommended that the Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of agencywide long-term goals and objectives to explain what results are expected from the agency's main functions and when to expect those results. GPO issued its strategic plan on December 1, 2004, which includes long-term goals and objectives for GPO's major programs. The strategic plan also provides timeframes for implementing the strategies for achieving GPO's goals.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of agencywide long-term goals and objectives to explain what results are expected from the agency's main functions and when to expect those results.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Adopting leading practices for results-oriented strategic planning and reporting, including developing a comprehensive mission statement, can help focus transformation efforts. GAO recommended that the Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a comprehensive agency mission statement to define the basic purpose of GPO. GPO issued its strategic plan on December 1, 2004, which includes a comprehensive statement of three missions for GPO: (1) to provide the agencies and organizations which make up the three branches of the Federal government with expert publishing and printing services, on a cost recovery basis, in order to avoid duplication and waste of government resources; (2) to provide, in partnership with Federal Depository libraries, for nationwide community facilities for the perpetual, free and ready public access to the printed and electronic documents and other information products of the Federal government; and (3) to distribute, on a cost recovery basis, copies of printed and electronic documents and other government information products to the general public.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure that GPO's strategic planning process includes development of a comprehensive agency mission statement to define the basic purpose of GPO.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GPO Customer Services liaison personnel are reminding their customers that unless a product is classified or is for administrative use only, GPO must be provided a copy to determine if that document should be distributed through the Federal Depository Library System. In addition, on May 30, 2006, a circular letter was issued reminding federal agencies of their responsibility in this regard.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should use the results of our surveys to work with agencies to establish processes that will ensure that eligible documents (whether printed or electronic) are forwarded to GPO for dissemination to the public, as required by law.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GPO's Customer Services Sales and Marketing Office has identified all electronic services available from GPO or through procured sources and are working with other GPO areas to stay abreast of new electronic developments in order to actively market new services directly to customers at point of service or through presentation and/or information booths at industry events. In addition, as of April 2006, GPO has developed marketing materials that describe these electronic services.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should reexamine GPO's marketing of electronic services to ensure that agencies are aware of them.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  16. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GPO has taken steps to address areas in which executive agencies rated GPO's products, services, and performance as below average. Among these actions are: (1) Having National Account Managers meet with each of GPO's major customer agencies and aggressively market new products and services available from GPO and (2) Reorganizing the customer services and printing procurement departments into teams by agency, allowing agencies to have one contact point for each part of the printing process.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should address the few areas in which executive branch agencies rated GPO's products, services, and performance as below average.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  17. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that executive branch agencies reported that they are producing a significant portion of their total printing volume internally, generally on desktop publishing and reproduction equipment instead of large-scale printing equipment. We recommended that the Public Printer work with executive branch agencies to examine the nature of their in-house printing and determine whether GPO could provide these services more economically. GPO reported that, in response to our recommendation, several new initiatives have been implemented to better serve executive branch agencies. GPO has created for customer agencies National Account Manager (NAM) positions, which provide consulting and training on GPO services that can address agency needs. NAMs are located across the country in order to serve both regional and headquarters agency offices. In February 2006, GPO also launched the GPOExpress program, which enables agencies to procure printing services through FedEx Kinko's locations across the country at a discount. GPO receives a share of the sales FedEx Kinko's earns through this program. Additionally, in August 2007, GPO launched an online paper store for agencies that features competitive pricing and environmentally friendly products.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should work with executive branch agencies to examine the nature of their inhouse printing and determine whether GPO could provide these services more economically

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  18. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that one of the key practices associated with successful transformations is a focus on a set of principles and priorities at the outset of the transformation. Our review found that, while GPO had not adopted a set of agencywide principles or core values, it had created a task team under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Staff to develop them. Our report stated that the core values of an organization can serve as an anchor that remains valid and enduring while organizations, personnel, programs, and processes may change. To that end, we recommended that the Public Printer articulate to all employees how the core values can guide GPO's transformation and serve to anchor GPO's transformation efforts. In 2007 GPO stated that, in response to this recommendation, the Public Printer has articulated clearly to all employees that the new organizational culture must be centered on an environment of intelligent risk taking that encourages continuous innovation, change, and improvement in the ongoing mission of keeping America informed. GPO stated that this message has been presented in both a public speech and a series of town hall meetings with all employees.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should articulate to all employees how the core values can guide GPO's transformation and serve to anchor GPO's transformation efforts.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  19. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that one of the key practices associated with successful transformations is a focus on a key set of principles and priorities at the outset of the transformation. Our review found that, while GPO had not adopted a set of agencywide principles or core values, it had created a task team under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Staff to develop them. Our report stated that the core values of an organization can serve as an anchor that remains valid and enduring while organizations, personnel, programs, and processes may change. To that end, we recommended that the Public Printer ensure that the core values developed by units within GPO are consistent with GPO's agencywide core values. GPO reported in 2008 that the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is the first business unit to develop its own strategic plan. In response to our recommendation, the Director of Quality Assurance had reviewed the OCIO's plan to ensure that it is consistent with the agency wide core values. These agencywide core values are also included in the OCIO strategic plan.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should ensure core values developed by units within GPO are consistent with GPO's agencywide core values.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  20. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GPO has taken several actions to ensure that its managers are receiving the financial information they need to manage day-to-day operations and track progress against transformation goals. First, beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2005, the Deputy Public Printer began holding weekly staff meetings with all department heads, during which relevant financial information is shared. Second, each month, a comprehensive compilation of the month's actual financial results, comparison of budgeted funds to actual expenditures, and other analysis, is distributed to numerous managers within GPO. Third, an analysis of each month's financial results and key indicators is e-mailed to over 40 managers and other interested parties. This report provides managers with the ability to spot financial trends pictorially enabling the managers to compare how revenue generated from their departments in FY 2006 compares to that of FY 2005. In addition, this financial information helps GPO managers and executives track progress towards their transformation goals.

    Recommendation: We recommend that GPO ensure that management is receiving the financial information needed to manage day-to-day operations and track progress against transformation goals.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  21. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In his April 2004 testimony, the Public Printer acknowledged that the Government Printing Office (GPO) had incurred significant financial losses over the past 5 years. Our June 2004 report on GPO, stated that such structural losses point out the clear need for transformation and cited that leading finance organizations have shifted from a paper-driven and clerical role to a more consultative role as advisor, analyst, and business partner. Our report noted that GPO's plans were consistent with this best practice for finance organizations but that GPO should ensure that these plans were completed, fully supported, and expanded, especially in light of the critical function that finance will play in GPO's transformation efforts. As such, we recommended that GPO ensure its planned efforts and goals to redefine the role of finance, provide information to decision makers, and build a team that delivers results, receives full and consistent support of GPO's top management. In 2008, GPO reported that top management has provided their full and consistent support for redefining the role of GPO's finance office and use of performance information. For instance, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has transitioned from having purely analytical responsibilities to having an active role in approving capital investments as a voting member of the Planning and Strategy Board, which reviews all capital investments. Additionally, controllers from GPO's Finance and Administration Unit attend business unit staff meetings to remain aware of emerging issues having financial consequences, which enable the controllers to provide better financial advice to GPO managers regarding their operations. Similarly, GPO has encouraged a more results-oriented team by making business unit managers more accountable for financial outcomes, as evidenced by the financial performance indicators included in senior level service (SLS) performance plans. Further, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer has made efforts to provide financial information to decision makers. For example, monthly Powerpoint presentations highlighting key financial information are distributed to GPO's top management. Additionally, GPO's Business Unit Controllers work with the Business Unit Mangers to develop financial reports and presentations that are tailored to the specific information requirements needed to operate each business unit.

    Recommendation: We recommend that GPO ensure that planned GPO and CFO efforts and goals in redefining the role of finance, providing information to decision makers, and building a team that delivers results receive the full and consistent support of GPO's top management.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  22. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In his April 2004 testimony, the Public Printer acknowledged that the Government Printing Office (GPO) had incurred significant financial losses over the past 5 years. Our June 2004 report on GPO stated that such structural losses point out the clear need for transformation and cited that a key to successfully changing an organization's culture is by enlisting the support of line managers, in particular through the use of training. Our report noted that GPO could transform its environment by providing its line managers with training geared towards a greater appreciation of the financial implications of their business decisions and GPO's transformation efforts. As such, we recommended that GPO emphasize training on the usefulness and understanding of financial information to non-financial managers who are critical to GPO's business operations. GPO leadership has responded to this recommendation by exposing managers to financial information through monthly financial reports. In 2008, GPO's business unit controllers began working with business unit managers to augment monthly financial reports with information tailored to help keep all managers informed about the financial status of GPO. The process of developing these reports has helped unit managers to better understand the agency's finances. This information is presented in layman's terms and presents information not only on the finances of GPO as whole, but also of each business unit. In addition, the Finance and Administration Team prepares a monthly PowerPoint presentation highlighting key financial information, which is distributed to top management.

    Recommendation: We recommend that GPO emphasize training on the usefulness and understanding of financial information to nonfinancial managers who are critical to GPO's business operations.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GPO's HCO is working with the CIO to ensure GPO's IT human capital needs are met. For example, beginning in fiscal year 2006, IT position descriptions are arbitrated and reviewed by the CIO for all units of the GPO, in a centralized fashion. In addition, all IT position descriptions are currently being aligned to conform to Office of Personnel Management standards with complete alignment expected by the end of FY 2006. In addition, the CIO organization's partnership with the HCO in the area of training and skill enhancement continues to grow stronger as evidenced by the development of a series of IT project management training classes targeted to the IT organization. Finally, IT and the HCO are partnering on IT's delivery of security awareness training to provide more effective and efficient delivery and record keeping of the training.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should direct the GPO CIO to ensure that GPO's Human Capital Office, in its efforts to develop and implement a human capital strategy, considers the special needs of IT human capital.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  24. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The data received from GPO related to this recommendation was not sufficient or relevant to demonstrate that GPO had implemented this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should direct the GPO CIO to establish the appropriate security and business continuity policies, procedures, and systems to ensure that its information products are adequately protected.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  25. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The data received from GPO related to this recommendation was not sufficient or relevant to demonstrate that GPO had implemented this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should direct the GPO CIO to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for software development and acquisition process improvement that specifies measurable goals and time frames, sets priorities for initiatives, estimates resource requirements (for training staff and funding), and defines a process improvement management structure.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  26. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The data received from GPO related to this recommendation was not sufficient or relevant to demonstrate that GPO had implemented this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should direct the GPO CIO to begin an effort to develop and implement an investment management process by (1) developing guidance for the selection, control, and evaluation processes and then (2) establishing an investment review board responsible and accountable for endorsing the guidance, monitoring its implementation, and executing decisions on projects based on the guidance.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  27. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As of FY 2006, GPO is implementing a comprehensive plan for the development of an enterprise architecture. An enterprise architecture repository has been implemented, and a statement of work for the development of an enterprise architecture was funded by the Joint Committee on Printing and was solicited in March 2006. The contract focused on formalizing metadata constructs, populating the GPO repository, and establishing an enterprise architecture model as the centerpiece for GPO Capital Investment and System initiatives. GPO has already commenced gathering specific business and system specific information relevant to a preliminary baseline to facilitate existing system efforts, and has established a Senior Level Review Board to approve capital intensive projects for implementation. This Planning and Strategy Board is the initial kernel of an enterprise-wide Capital Planning and Investment Control process under development at GPO.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should direct the GPO CIO to begin an effort to create and implement a comprehensive plan for the development of an enterprise architecture that addresses completion of GPO's current or "as-is" architecture, development of a target or "to-be" architecture, and development of a capital investment plan for transitioning from the current to the target architecture. As part of the capital investment plan, designate an architecture review board of agency executives who are responsible and accountable for overseeing and approving architecture development and maintenance, and establish an enterprise architecture program management plan.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  28. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that employee involvement can strengthen the transformation process by including frontline perspectives and experiences, creating the opportunity to establish new networks and break down existing organizational silos, increasing employees' understanding and acceptance of organizational goals and objectives, and allowing employees to gain ownership for new policies and procedures. For example, GPO officials told us that GPO's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had shared goals for his division with his managers, who had, in turn, shared the goals with their employees, enabling all employees under the CFO to know the goals of the division and how their work and performance helped realize the goals. However, our report found that not all division managers had involved their employees in planning and sharing performance information. Our report noted that GPO units could expand the involvement of employees and use their feedback in planning and sharing performance information, which can help employees accept and understand the goals of their units and their role in achieving them. As such, we recommended that GPO leadership involve employees more in planning and decision making for the future, allowing employees to gain ownership of the transformation. For example, the Chief Human Capital Officer should incorporate employee feedback as part of the process for developing GPO's pay for performance system and in training and development activities. In 2007 GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, GPO is involving employees in planning and decision making. For example, the Office of Workforce Development Education and Training included both management and union representatives in the Plant Apprentice Training Program advisory group. In addition, union leaders and managers have been continuously updated on the Skills Measurement and Retraining Program, which is designed to identify and address skill gaps in GPO employees.

    Recommendation: GPO leadership should involve employees more in planning and decision making for the future, allowing employees to gain ownership of the transformation. For example, the CHCO should incorporate employee feedback as part of the process for developing GPO's pay for performance system and in training and development activities.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  29. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that one of the key practices associated with a successful transformation is to establish a communication strategy to create shared expectations and report related progress. Our report noted that GPO leadership has communicated early and often, ensured consistency of message, and encouraged two-way communication. However, employees want additional information to meet their specific needs. As such, we recommended that the Public Printer augment GPO's communication about the transformation to include additional information that employees can use to understand their role in building the GPO of the 21st century. As GPO's strategic planning effort moves forward, communication with employees should include topics such as GPO's new mission, strategic goals, and in particular, employee concerns about their role in the new environment. As key decisions are made, communication should address how GPO's transformation will affect employees so that they understand how their jobs may be affected, what their rights and protections might be, and how their responsibilities might change. In 2008, GPO stated that, in response to our recommendation, GPO has augmented communication with its employees. For example, GPO sent copies of the agency's 2007 annual report, which describes GPO's transformation initiatives and details recent successes and new programs. In addition, in 2006, GPO stated that the Employee Communications Office had consolidated communication channels to better reach all employees. Specifically, the office solicits feedback via an ongoing weekly survey, holds communication training for supervisors as part of the Transformation Leadership program, develops visual communication tools for managers to communicate key concepts of the transformation in Town Hall meetings and small group discussions, and holds quarterly communication planning sessions with division leadership teams.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer can augment GPO's communication about the transformation to include additional information that employees can use to understand their role in building the GPO of the 21st century. As GPO's strategic planning effort moves forward, communication with employees should include topics such as GPO's new mission, strategic goals, and in particular, employee concerns about their role in the new environment. As key decisions are made, communication should address how GPO's transformation will affect employees so that they understand how their jobs may be affected, what their rights and protections might be, and how their responsibilities might change.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  30. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that a performance management system can help manage and direct the transformation process and serves as the basis for setting expectation for individuals' roles in the transformation. We noted that, after the completion of GPO's strategic plan, GPO would be able to fully align individual performance expectations with a direct link to GPO's goals, providing employees with the information they need to understand how their performance leads to organizational success. Our report also noted that GPO planned to pilot a performance management system that would, beginning with senior executives, more closely link an individual's pay with his or her performance. We have reported that efforts to link pay to performance, while a key practice for effective performance management, require adequate safeguards, including reasonable transparency and appropriate accountability mechanisms to ensure the fair, effective, and nondiscriminatory implementation of the system. As such, we recommended that the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) continue developing a performance management system for all GPO employees that creates a line of sight by linking employee performance with agency goals. The CHCO should ensure that GPO's new performance management system has adequate safeguards, including reasonable transparency and appropriate accountability mechanisms to ensure the fair, effective, and nondiscriminatory implementation of the system. Since this report, GPO has continued to develop its performance management system for all employees. In 2007 GPO reported that, in response to this recommendation, the performance plans for GPO's managers, supervisors, and Senior Level Service employees include cascading goals that directly link their work to the accomplishment of business unit and GPO-wide goals. GPO also reported that Senior Level Service employees are held accountable for justifying supervisors' and managers' ratings with proper supporting documentation. In addition, GPO stated in 2008 that goal based performance plans for non-supervisory employees are expected to be introduced in FY2009.

    Recommendation: The CHCO should continue developing a performance management system for all GPO employees that creates a line of sight by linking employee performance with agency goals. The CHCO should ensure that GPO's new performance management system has adequate safeguards, including reasonable transparency and appropriate accountability mechanisms, to ensure the fair, effective, and nondiscriminatory implementation of the system.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  31. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that dedicating a strong and stable implementation team that will be responsible for the transformation's day-to-day management is important to ensuring that it receives the focused, full-time attention needed to be sustained and successful. Specifically, the implementation team is important to ensuring that various change initiatives are sequenced and implemented in a coherent and integrated way. Top leadership must vest the team with the necessary authority and resources to set priorities, make timely decisions, and move quickly to implement top leadership's decisions about the transformation. We recommended that the Public Printer establish a transformation team, or augment the management council, to address the day-to-day management of GPO's transformation effort. The team should include high-performing employees who have knowledge and competencies that could help GPO plan its future. Establishing such a team could create the focus needed to stimulate and sustain GPO's transformation efforts. GPO stated in June 2008 that, according to our recommendation, the Planning and Strategy Board has been addressing the day-to-day management of GPO's transformation through its roles in obligating funds and establishing agency goals. For example, GPO states that the Planning and Strategy Board developed the 2007 and 2008 strategic goals, objectives, performance measures, and balanced score card based on GPO's Strategic Vision. The Planning and Strategy Board also reviews the status of the balanced score card, which tracks progress on GPO's strategic goals and underlying objectives, on a monthly basis. The Planning and Strategy Board is chaired by GPO's Chief Information Officer and comprised of other members appointed by the Public Printer including a combination of business unit managers, system managers, and non-voting senior advisors.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should establish a transformation team, or augment the management council, to address the day-to-day management of GPO's transformation effort. The team should include high-performing employees who have knowledge and competencies that could help GPO plan its future. Establishing such a team could create the focus needed to stimulate and sustain GPO's transformation efforts.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  32. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that a transforming organization needs to define the critical skills and competencies that it will require in the future to meet its strategic program goals and identify how it will obtain these requirements, including those that it will need to acquire, develop, and retain to meet future needs. Our report noted that GPO had planned both a skills assessment of its current employees as well as a systematic identification of new skills and competencies that it will need in the future. Completion of these efforts would allow GPO leadership to pinpoint skills gaps within its workforce and develop strategies to ensure that GPO retains, develops, and acquires employees with these skills. To this end, we recommended that the Chief Human Capital Officer ensure that the development of human capital strategies focuses on the skills gaps identified by GPO leadership. In 2007, GPO reported that, in response to our recommendation, GPO's Office of Human Capital has initiated three initiatives that focus on identifying and closing skill gaps for targeted populations of the GPO workforce. First, the Plant Apprentice Training program is a four year program focused on increasing skills in plant operations. Second, the Skills Measurement and Retraining Program is focused on identifying and addressing the current skills and skills gaps of the current workforce in order to fill the future needs of the agency. Third, The Leadership Development and Recruiting (LDR) program is a two year program in which both external and internal recruits rotate between four different business tracks in GPO in order to develop leadership skills to meet the future needs of the agency.

    Recommendation: The CHCO should ensure that the development of human capital strategies focuses on the skills gaps identified by GPO leadership.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  33. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that in February 2003, GPO leadership sought employee attitudes by implementing an employee climate survey, an important first step to establish a baseline on employee attitudes and concerns. After the survey was completed, GPO leadership adopted recommendations to address employee concerns. Based on a second employee survey it planned to administer, GPO had the opportunity to take additional follow-up actions. These surveys have the potential to provide GPO leadership with updated information on GPO employee attitudes and views on GPO's transformation. We recommended that the CHCO determine, based on the results of the upcoming employee survey, whether any changes were needed to the transformation strategies. GPO officials reported that, while the results of employee surveys did not suggest the need to change GPO's transformation strategies, the results did suggest a need for better communication about the need for change and the process for achieving this change. GPO has responded to this recommendation by using the results of the 2006 employee survey to identify and address various communication issues. For example, GPO's business units are now required to issue quarterly reports on initiatives that have been developed in response to the results from the 2006 employee survey and managers meet on a monthly basis to discuss these issues. These initiatives include efforts to recognize employees for training accomplishments, promoting GPO career opportunities using work/life tools such as time off awards, and increasing communication between departments by holding cross-functional meetings.

    Recommendation: The CHCO should determine, based on the results of the upcoming employee survey, whether any changes are needed to the transformation strategies.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  34. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that, because a transformation is a substantial commitment that could take years to complete, one of the key practices associated with successful transformations is the setting of implementation goals and a timeline to build momentum and show progress from day one. It is essential to establish and track implementation goals and establish a timeline to pinpoint performance shortfalls and gaps and suggest midcourse corrections. Our review found that, while GPO had not established a transformation plan, specific goals and timelines for the transformation were under development. As such, we recommended that the Public Printer develop a documented transformation plan that identifies critical phases and essential activities that need to be completed. In response to our recommendation, GPO developed its 2004 "Strategic Vision for the 21st Century," which contains GPO's strategic goals and acts as the agency's transformation plan. Further, in 2008, GPO reported that its balanced score card links GPO's strategic goals to its transformation efforts and business unit operations through a set of more specific "objectives" and more detailed "initiatives." Additionally, selected initiatives have been designated as "critical" and carry extra weight when measuring the performance of responsible officials. By using the balanced score card, GPO leadership can identify and track the critical phases and essential activities associated with GPO's transformation.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should develop a documented transformation plan that identifies critical phases and essential activities that need to be completed.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

  35. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Our June 2004 report on the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated that, because a transformation is a substantial commitment that could take years to complete, one of the key practices associated with successful transformations is the setting of implementation goals and a timeline to build momentum and show progress from day one. It is essential to establish and track implementation goals and establish a timeline to pinpoint performance shortfalls and gaps and suggest midcourse corrections. Our review found that, while GPO had not established a transformation plan with specific timeframes and goals for which leadership would be held accountable, specific goals and timelines for the transformation were under development. As such, we recommended that the Public Printer develop a documented transformation plan that outlines his goals for the transformation and when he expects to meet these goals. In response to our report, GPO developed its 2004 "Strategic Vision for the 21st Century," which details GPO's strategic goals and acts as the agency's transformation plan. Additionally, in 2008 GPO reported the development of its balanced score card that establishes a set of performance measures and deadlines linked to the strategic goals. Using its strategic vision combined with its balanced score card, GPO management is able to track its progress on the agency's transformation goals and timelines for meeting those goals.

    Recommendation: The Public Printer should develop a documented transformation plan that outlines his goals for the transformation and when he expects to meet these goals.

    Agency Affected: Government Printing Office

 

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