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2280NEWS: The Electronic Frontier Foundation Opens Drive to Support the Government Printing Office (GPO) and Maintain Its Roles

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  • David P. Dillard
    Nov 30, 2002
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      NEWS: The Electronic Frontier Foundation Opens Drive to Support the
      Government Printing Office (GPO) and Maintain Its Roles

      For those on this list who are not familiar with the important roles of
      the Government Printing Office (GPO) that is operated by the Congressional
      Branch of the United States Government, here is the mission statement from
      the GPO website.


      U.S. Government Printing Office

      Serving the printing, binding,
      and information dissemination
      needs of the U.S. Government

      The mission of the Government Printing Office is to inform the Nation by
      producing, procuring, and disseminating printed and electronic
      publications of the Congress as well as the executive departments and
      establishments of the Federal Government.

      The Government Printing Office (GPO) began operations in accordance with
      Congressional Joint Resolution 25 of June 23, 1860. The activities of GPO
      are defined in the public printing and documents chapters of Title 44 of
      the U.S. Code.

      The Public Printer, who serves as the head of GPO, is appointed by the
      President with the advice and consent of the Senate.


      The Government Printing Office produces and procures printed and
      electronic publications for Congress and the departments and
      establishments of the Federal Government. It furnishes printing supplies
      to all governmental activities on order. It catalogs, distributes, and
      sells Government publications in printed and electronic formats.

      GPO invites bids from commercial suppliers on a wide variety of printing
      and reproduction services, awards and administers contracts, and maintains
      liaison between ordering agencies and contractors.

      Printing processes used are electronic prepress, including networked
      on-demand printing systems; offset presswork, featuring direct-to-plate
      technology; and bookbinding. Electronic databases prepared for printing
      are premastered for CD-ROM replication and are used to provide online

      GPO sells approximately 10,000 different printed and electronic
      publications that originate in various Government agencies. It administers
      the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) through which a
      comprehensive range of Government publications are made available for the
      free use of the public in more than 1,300 libraries throughout the
      country. GPO also provides online access to more than 80 applications of
      Federal Government publications, including the Congressional Record and
      the Federal Register. GPO's online information service, GPO Access, may be
      reached via GPO's home page or directly at http://www.gpo.gov/gpoaccess.

      Sources of Information

      General inquiries about GPO should be directed to the Office of
      Congressional and Public Affairs. Phone, 202-512-1991. Fax, 202-512-1293.


      To explore the publication and web publication resources published in
      print, microform and on the internet, these pages are a good place to

      GPO Access

      Website Subject Resources and Link Organization

      Administrative Decisions
      Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
      Hosted Federal Web Sites

      Code of Federal Regulations
      Federal Register
      Congressional Record
      U.S. Code
      Congressional Bills
      Catalog of U.S. Gov't Publications
      Other Databases



      General search page for all databases.

      Search across multiple databases
      Specialized search pages for detailed search of individual databases.

      Budget of the United States Government
      Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
      Code of Federal Regulations
      Commerce Business Daily (CBDNet) - Archive only
      Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives
      Congressional Bills
      Congressional Committee Prints
      Congressional Directory
      Congressional Hearings
      Congressional Pictorial Directory
      Congressional Record
      Congressional Record Index
      Deschler's Precedents of the U.S. House of
      Economic Indicators
      Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives
      History of Bills
      House Calendars
      House Committee on Ways and Means Committee Prints
      House Journal
      House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the
      House, 104th Congress, 2d Session
      House Rules and Manual
      House, Senate, and Executive Reports
      House, Senate, and Treaty Documents
      Miscellaneous House Publications
      Miscellaneous Senate Publications
      Public and Private Laws
      Senate Calendar of Business
      Senate Manual
      United States Code
      U.S. Constitution, Analysis and Interpretation: 1992
      Edition, 1996 Supplement, and 1998 Supplement
      Davis-Bacon Wage Determinations
      Economic Report of the President
      Federal Register
      GAO Comptroller General Decisions
      GAO Reports
      Government Information Locator Service Records (GILS)
      List of CFR Sections Affected
      Privacy Act Notices
      Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
      Sales Product Catalog (SPC)
      Semiannual Regulatory Agenda (Unified Agenda)
      Supreme Court Decisions
      U.S. Government Manual
      United States Government Printing Office Style Manual
      Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
      Individual federal agency files available for download.

      Federal Bulletin Board


      Catalog of US Government Publications (CGP)
      A GPO Access Finding Aid.


      The Electronic Frontier Foundation
      Keep Public Documents Available to the Public: Save the GPO!

      This is a prime example of arcane gorvernment rule-making, but it's
      important. Here's the elevator pitch:

      - The vast majority of government documents are handled by the Government
      Printing Office (GPO), which then deposits copies in over 1,300 Federal
      depository libraries across the nation. The GPO also puts much of the
      content online in a searchable fashion.
      - The Office of Management and Budget (OMB, Executive Branch) has ordered
      government printing to be opened to competition and thus decentralized.
      - This is not the first time that the OMB has tried to harm the GPO;
      similar measures were proposed in 1987 and 1994. Congress issued strong
      warnings in both instances, saying that it was both not the OMB's place to
      make such a decision and that it would be bad policy.
      The OMB doesn't seem to be backing down this time, despite the passage of
      a harshly worded resolution (HJ Res 124) warning against the move. If the
      OMB proposal takes effect, there will be less government material on the
      Internet and in our Libraries. Don't let them get away with it!


      Links to additional instructions regarding this letter are provided below
      the letter:

      To be able to modify the following letter:
      Subscribe to the EFF Action Center
      Log in to your Personal Action Center
      Need some advice on how to edit?


      Related News Stories

      Lack of interest, Web put federal bookseller out of business
      By TODD BENSMAN / The Dallas Morning News

      Store employees these days find themselves dispensing more directions to
      the facilities than selling books. The store is about to close after more
      than 30 years on the first floor of downtown Dallas' Earle Cabell federal
      building, in large part because of underwhelming interest in physical
      ownership of the store's arcane offerings.

      Employees are just waiting for a final congressional order to close up
      shop for good.

      For 18 years, Tom Faulkenbury has kept himself busy as manager of the
      federal government bookstore. Employees of the store, in the Earle Cabell
      building, are waiting for a congressional order to close.
      The U.S. Government Printing Office, which has run the store since it
      opened in 1971, primarily blames the steep drop in orders on the success
      of the printing office's online bookstore, which opened in 1994.


      Competition for Printing Budget
      Friday November 8, 2002 8:20 AM

      WASHINGTON (AP) - Defying an 81-year-old tradition, the Bush
      administration is introducing competition to the one area of the federal
      budget that hasn't had any: printing the federal budget itself.

      Since the first presidential spending program was printed in 1921, the
      increasingly hefty budget books have had millions of numbers, thousands of
      tables and many justifications for divvying up the money. But they've only
      had one printer, Congress' Government Printing Office.

      Now, to the chagrin of the printing office, the administration has
      advertised for competitive bids to print four of the five volumes of the
      president's 2004 budget. The official printer still will produce the
      largest volume, which requires specialized work, but must join the open
      bidding for the other four.


      Daily Briefing
      November 8, 2002
      Proposed rule requires competition for printing
      By Brian Friel

      The Government Printing Office would have to compete with companies for
      federal agencies printing jobs, under a proposed rule published this week.

      If enacted, the rule would end a century-old requirement that federal
      agencies use the printing office for most of their printing work. The
      Office of Management and Budget is pushing the rule. Proponents say the
      change will inject competition into the offices monopoly-like hold on
      federal agencies. Opponents say the change will cost the government
      millions of dollars a year in centralized efficiency.


      I hope that members of this discussion group will share the concerns about
      these proposed changes by the Bush Administration that are strongly felt
      by many in the fields of library science, information science and
      knowledge mangagement. The full news stories that were excerpted above
      may be read at the URLs provided below the title of each news story.

      David Dillard
      Temple University
      (215) 204 - 4584