Review of the Government Printing Office's Cost Estimate for the Cooperative Map Program

AFMD-83-89: Published: Sep 30, 1983. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO attempted to determine the accuracy of the Government Printing Office (GPO) estimate of the cost of a proposed cooperative map program that would distribute certain maps to depositories for Government publications. In addition, GAO attempted to determine whether GPO has the funds and personnel resources necessary to implement the proposed program.

GAO found that GPO did not develop a supported and complete estimate of costs for its participation in the proposed map program. Its estimate was developed as a rough approximation of costs for use in initial planning of the program and did not provide adequate supporting documentation. GPO was unable to identify all of the costs of administration, space, and equipment to be incurred in program implementation. GPO reported that it plans to revise the estimate when more reliable data on depository library map selections are available. GAO found that a GPO personnel cost estimate appeared to be low because it was based on the lowest salary for each grade level proposed for additional personnel. However, cooperative arrangements with other agencies could reduce the estimated personnel costs. GAO also found that GPO was unable to support its estimated map storage or distribution costs. Without a reliable estimate, GAO could not determine whether GPO has the funds and personnel to implement the program. Although GPO believes that it has the resources necessary to administer the program in fiscal years 1983 and 1984, unforeseen costs could require the agency to request additional funds from Congress. GAO found that questions concerning cataloging procedures, distribution, funding, automatic data processing capability, depositories, facilities, and program management should be considered in subsequent planning of the program.

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