Government Printing:

GPO Faces Management Challenges

T-GGD-98-180: Published: Jul 29, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1998.

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GAO discussed the management challenges facing the Government Printing Office (GPO), focusing on the management audit conducted by Booz-Allen & Hamilton.

GAO noted that: (1) the Wendell H. Ford Government Publications Act of 1998, S. 2288, would establish the Government Publications Office as an independent entity with substantially more authority, and autonomy, than the Government Printing Office enjoys today; (2) the Joint Committee on Printing, which closely oversees the work of GPO, would be eliminated; (3) in its discussions with GPO's customers, Booz-Allen found little support for eliminating GPO and thereby forcing the branches and agencies of government to develop their own means of publishing and distributing the information they produce; (4) the Booz-Allen study confirmed that there were many ways in which GPO's management could be improved to better focus on and meet the needs of its customers in Congress, the executive branch, and the user community; (5) its recommendations provide a guidepost for the management and operational improvements that are needed; (6) S. 2288, in its present form, would not require the newly constituted Government Publications Office to make these needed management improvements; (7) GAO believes that making the agency subject to some specially tailored provisions of the Government Performance and Results Act would impose strategic planning and performance reporting requirements that could only be therapeutic; (8) although the bill does provide for the preparation and audit of annual financial statements, adding GPO to the list of agencies subject to the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 would expand the agency's financial management obligations and help deter fraud, waste, and abuse of government resources; and (9) explicitly relating any new GPO information responsibilities to those of executive agencies under such statutes as the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Federal Records Act, and the Freedom of Information Act, would help clarify GPO's intended role.

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