GPO Needs To Analyze Alternatives To Overcome Physical Limitations in Government Printing Operations

PLRD-82-20: Published: Jan 4, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 1982.

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Henry W. Connor
(202) 275-4141


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO was requested to determine if the location, design, and age of the Government Printing Office's (GPO) buildings have adversely affected its manufacturing operations.

Numerous inefficiencies in the GPO manufacturing operations can be attributed to the buildings GPO occupies. Inefficiencies in GPO occur from the time paper is first delivered at the receiving docks to the time it leaves the shipping docks as a finished product. The location of the GPO main paper storage warehouse, 15 miles from the printing plant, combined with the multistory configuration of the main plant itself, results in an inordinate amount of material movement. The major building-related problems which contribute to the inefficiency of the press division are inadequate storage space, equipment placement constraints, and material handling delays. The major problems identified in the bindery division are material movement problems and crowded conditions. Due to the age and the physical limitations of the current plant, major costs for leased space, building repairs, and renovations are unavoidable if GPO expects to continue to use this facility for its operations. During the current fiscal year, GPO is leasing over 900,000 square feet of warehouse, office, and storage space at a cost of about $2.6 million. The primary alternatives under consideration to improve the GPO manufacturing operations include: (1) redesigning the existing facilities; (2) expanding the existing facilities; and (3) building a new facility.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Because the decision has been made not to construct a new facility, congressional approval will not be required.

    Matter: The Committee should obtain congressional approval for one of the alternatives presented by GPO.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Matter: The Chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing should have GPO perform a cost-benefit analysis of the various alternatives available to solve these inefficiencies in the present facilities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Joint Committee on Printing has decided to hire an outside firm to work in conjunction with GPO to do a study of government printing to include what is expected over the next ten years and how best to meet these expectations.

    Recommendation: GPO should develop a master plan to assure that the alternative is implemented properly.

    Agency Affected: Government Publishing Office


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