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GPO, OMB Agree to New Printing Program

Executive branch agencies will obtain printing services through a new Internet-based system created by the Government Printing Office and the Office of Management and Budget.

The system, which will begin as a one-year pilot program, will allow private printing companies to register with GPO and then compete for government contracts through a Web-based program. (OMB officials will select only one agency to take part in the test period, while remaining agencies continue to use GPO’s procurement services.)

The new program will allow executive agencies to personally select printers and negotiate details such as delivery dates and quality, said GPO spokesman Andrew Sherman.

“Agencies are going to have a much freer hand to negotiate with printers who do their jobs,” Sherman said.

The program will also increase GPO’s electronic publishing abilities.

“The government is now moving the way private sector has been moving, relying increasingly on electronic information technology to create and disseminate information products,” Public Printer Bruce James said in a statement.

OMB Director Mitch Daniels noted the program should also reduce the number of “fugitive documents,” or government publications which are not supplied to the Federal Depository Library Program.

“We’re going to have a mechanism in the system to make sure that information products that are developed through this new process are captured for dissemination,” Sherman said.

OMB has also agreed to push executive agencies to move printing work now done by internal printing plants to the new GPO procurement system.

For now, GPO will charge a 3 percent fee for the Web-based service — down from its current 7 percent charge — but that will be re-evaluated at the end of the pilot program, Sherman said.

The creation of the new program follows a March announcement by James that a settlement had been reached in an ongoing dispute between his agency and OMB regarding authority over executive agency printing.

In May 2001, Daniels had sought to dismantle regulations that require federal agencies to use GPO for printing services. GPO officials defended their authority, citing Title 44 of the U.S. Code, which gives the agency responsibility for the printing and information dissemination needs of Congress, as well as nearly 130 departments and agencies.

Woman’s Democratic Club Honors Norton

The Woman’s National Democratic Club Educational Foundation will honor D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton tonight as its Democratic Woman of the Year.

D.C. City Council Chairman Linda Cropp (D), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Donna Brazile, Judith Lichtman and Josh Williams will be on hand for the ceremony which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will support historic preservation projects, the Neval Thomas Elementary School, and the Young Woman’s Leadership Project.

— Jennifer Yachnin

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