National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Report on U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has recently published a 166-page report on the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), prepared for the GPO, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the U.S. Congress — please see:

Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age (January 2013)

Among other things, the report contains 15 recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1. To enable the federal government to carry out its role of providing information to its citizens, Congress should establish a collaborative interagency process, and designate a lead agency or interagency organization, to develop and implement a government-wide strategy for managing the lifecycle of digital government information.
  • Recommendation 2. To ensure GPO can carry out its mandate of providing permanent public access to government information, GPO should enhance its position and capabilities by offering an expanded set of services on a cost-recovery basis that contribute to the lifecycle management of government information. These services could include content management, metadata creation, authentication, preservation, and cataloging. GPO should develop strategies to encourage executive branch agencies to provide publications to GPO to enable permanent public access.
  • Recommendation 3. To safeguard the historical documents of our democracy for future generations, GPO should work with depository libraries and other library groups to develop a comprehensive plan for preserving the print collection of government documents. This plan should include cataloging, digitizing, and preserving tangible copies of government publications, a timeline for completion, and options for supporting the effort financially, as well as a process for ingesting digitized copies into the Federal Digital System. Congress should appropriate funds for the purpose of cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the government collection.
  • Recommendation 4. To ensure the long-term preservation and access of digital government publications, GPO and Congress should explore alternative funding models for the Federal Digital System in order to ensure a stable and sufficient funding source.
  • Recommendation 5. To preserve the relevance and viability of the Federal Depository Library Program, GPO should continue to collaborate with depository libraries and the broader library community to develop a national strategic plan for the program that gives libraries the flexibility and tools they need to provide permanent public access to government information in the digital age.
  • Recommendation 6. To ensure the Publication and Information Sales Program continues to play a role in information dissemination and is able to recover costs, GPO should continue to aggressively research and expand into new markets.
  • Recommendation 7. To enable further cost reductions, Congress should consider changes in its demand for print. GPO should develop estimates of cost savings that could be realized through potential changes in the requirements for printing the Congressional Record. GPO should quantify the savings that could be realized through such options as printing fewer copies of the Congressional Record or ending the daily start-of-business print requirement while continuing to provide electronic access.
  • Recommendation 8. To continue to realize government-wide benefits, GPO should continue to perform executive branch printing, while further reducing costs and improving customer service.
  • Recommendation 9. To generate additional revenue, GPO should continue to pursue smart card business. To assist GPO in growing this business and to leverage GPO’s smart card expertise for public benefit, Congress should consider whether to
  • Recommendation 10. To effectively integrate and align the agency’s human resource policies, programs, and practices with its strategies for achieving mission success and desired programmatic results, GPO should develop and institutionalize a human capital planning capacity. GPO should make strategic human capital planning a high priority and use multiple strategies to ensure the recruitment, retention, development, and rewarding of a highly motivated and diverse workforce.
  • Recommendation 11. To ensure it is able to continue to plan for and respond to future changes, GPO should continue its transformation by enhancing its strategic planning capabilities, broadening its change management efforts, and continually reviewing customer product and service needs.
  • Recommendation 12. To achieve future organizational and operational cost savings in the Customer Services program, GPO should further consolidate regional office locations, space, and staff and continue to identify and implement best management practices (such as cross training, telework, work sharing arrangements, and increasing managerial spans of control) and available technologies to the greatest extent possible.
  • Recommendation 13. To realize significant potential savings and enhance revenues (as well as improve customer service), GPO should accelerate the development and deployment of a new automated print procurement system.
  • Recommendation 14. To reduce GPO’s facilities footprint while increasing the leasing of unused building space, GPO should continue pursuing incremental lease arrangements.
  • Recommendation 15. To address workforce skills imbalances, GPO should continue to pursue targeted, gradual staffing reductions in specific areas, as well as functional consolidations, when feasible and appropriate.

Cross-posted at Legal Research Plus.

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