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From ‘Printing’ to ‘Publishing’: The GPO Has a New Name (Video)

The GPO is not just for printing anymore. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The GPO is not just for printing anymore. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Government Printing Office has officially become the Government Publishing Office, after President Barack Obama signed the year-end “cromnibus” spending package late Tuesday night.  

The name change was a provision in the legislative branch portion  of the bill, which allocated $120 million to the publishing office, an increase of $1 million from 2014. In the bill, the GPO provision notes that the title change was instituted “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” “This is a historic day for GPO. Publishing defines a broad range of services that includes print, digital, and future technological advancements,” the agency’s director, Davita Vance-Cooks, said in a statement Wednesday. “The name Government Publishing Office better reflects the services that GPO currently provides and will provide in the future.”  

Vance-Cooks has been working to update the agency’s brand since taking the top job there in August 2013. In an interview  with CQ Roll Call before she was sworn in, Vance-Cooks said, “We want to attract another generation of people to our government products, and that generation we want to attract believes in digital.”  

The office is responsible for producing, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, and preserving official documents for the all three branches of the U.S. government. For example, on Monday, the GPO released the official digital and print versions of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program. The agency’s new name reflects its transition to digital technologies.  

The GPO has incorporated more digital platforms into its functions, which includes providing access to federal government information through the Federal Digital System, utilizing applications and eBooks, and becoming the first legislative branch agency to transition to “cloud” technology .  

“I appreciate the efforts of the members of Congress for their support and understanding GPO’s transformation,” Vance-Cooks said Wednesday. “GPO will continue to meet the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public and carry out our mission of keeping America informed.”  

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