House appropriators encourage GPO privatization


The Government Printing Office is among several components facing major cuts under a legislative branch appropriations bill, H.R. 2551 (.pdf), which moved from the appropriations to Rules Committee July 20 in advance of its introduction on the House floor.

report (.pdf) accompanying the bill suggests that GPO might be privatized, since it already contracts out more than 90 percent of its printing requisitions. The report directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a feasibility study over whether the General Services Administration could take over printing duties for the executive branch and the remainder of the GPO could be privatized. Such a plan would involve transfer of the Superintendent of Documents program to the Library of Congress.

"The committee has some concern about the future of the GPO as a viable printing operation for the federal government," the report says.     

Under the bill, GPO would receive $113 million, an amount that is $22 million, or more than 16 percent less than appropriated in fiscal 2011. The appropriation is also $35.5 million less than the president's budget request.

If the legislative appropriations bill passes, the Library of Congress will receive $575 million, which is $53 million or 8.5 percent below the fiscal 2011 level and $91 million or almost 14 percent below the budget request. A report accompanying the bill said the committee sees enhanced information technology as critical to the future success of LOC programs and services.

"The Committee recognizes that the major information technology requirements of Library organizations will only be met through Library-wide collaboration," said the report.

Under the bill, the committee asks LOC to consider managing within the Office of the Librarian all Library information technology planning and resource allocations "to ensure that information technology requirements are properly prioritized."

Under the bill, the Congressional Research Service would receive $104 million--an amount that is almost $7 million below the fiscal 2011 level and $13 million less than the requested amount.

House appropriations recommends $511 million in direct appropriations for the Government Accountability Office, which is a decrease of $35 million, or 6.4 percent below the fiscal 2011 level and $45.5 million less than the budget request.

For more:
- see H.R. 2551 (.pdf)
- see the legislative branch appropriations report (.pdf)

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