Government Printing:

Comparison of DOD and GPO Prices for Printing and Duplicating Work

NSIAD-95-65: Published: Feb 17, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed issues relating to the costs, prices, services, and operations of the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Defense Printing Service (DPS), focusing on the prices charged to customers for acquiring printing and duplicating services for a statistically representative sample of customer-requested requisitions produced between April and September 1994.

GAO found that: (1) a meaningful cost comparison of the services provided by GPO and DPS could not be made because the agencies captured the costs differently; (2) there are longstanding questions regarding the reliability of the DPS cost accounting system; (3) GPO prices for printing were about 10 percent lower than DPS printing prices; (4) DPS prices for duplicating requisitions were about 4 to 5 percent lower than GPO prices; (5) GPO contractor prices, under printing term contracts, were about 37 percent lower than DPS printing prices; (6) no significant differences existed between GPO duplicating term contracts and DPS prices; (7) GPO provided price estimate information based on term contracts used by federal agencies, indicating that these prices would be lower than DPS prices; (8) it was uncertain whether GPO could establish suitable term contracts to handle the DPS workload and satisfy customer needs at its projected prices; (9) due to uncertainty in the marketplace, the magnitude and direction of price changes will be difficult to predict; and (10) GPO and DPS will both experience price increases during fiscal year 1995.

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