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10. Audit on GPO Financial Operations

In May 1993, the General Accounting Office issued its audit report on GPO's 1992 financial statements. The audit, conducted by Arthur Andersen and Company, found the financial statements to be reliable in all material aspects but a separate report was issued that cited seven reportable conditions and 88 comments and suggestions for GPO management. The three following areas were cited in the audit to be of particular importance: (1) GPO should prepare a financial analysis to support the strategic planning project on their core products; (2) improve periodic reporting of financial and operational information to the Members and staff of the JCP, and (3) address electronic data processing system deficiencies. GPO management responses have been prepared and in most cases, actions are either underway or have been implemented.

11. GPO Paper Procurement Audit

In 1992, the Joint Committee requested a first-time review of the Paper Procurement Program. GPO's Inspector General has recently notified the Committee that the review has progressed to the draft audit phase with a final report to be issued by March, 1994. The review identified opportunities to increase competition and improve the effectiveness of the program, strengthen management controls and take greater advantage of information system technology.

12. GPO Printing Procurement Contracts and Practices

In response to concerns expressed by the Joint Committee on Printing and Members of the House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations, GPO's Inspector General was asked to conduct a review of GPO's printing procurement activities. As the Federal Printing Program utilizes competitive bidding among commercial printers to provide Government printing requirements at the lowest possible cost, the review was to provide assurances that the program was efficient, effective and free from any possible fraudulent activity. The Office of the Inspector General reported 54 potential findings of which 21 have been referred to the Office of Audits for additional action and 12 were referred to the Office of Investigations for action. The project continues and will be on-going until all reports have been delivered to the Joint Committee on Printing.

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The Joint Committee on Printing continues to discharge its oversight functions with respect to labor and management issues pursuant to section 305, Title 44, United States Code and the Keiss Act. The Joint Committee delayed implementation of the former Public Printer's proposed rate increase for non-bargaining middle managers and an accompanying reorganization proposal in January of 1993. The JCP put a stay on the proposed increase because of the entwined "alteration in the structure of the workforce," the disproportionately high increase proposed for middle managers and the desire to allow the Administration to propose its own reorganization plan. The JCP was able to approve a modified (and less costly) plan later submitted by the Administration's then-Acting Public Printer, Mike


All previously negotiated wage agreements remained in effect through fiscal year 1993. The wage agreement of the Government Printing Office Police force, however, will be up for renegotiation in fiscal year 1994.



Oversight of the Public's Right of Access to Government Publications

Depository Library Program

The Joint Committee on Printing is responsible for the oversight of the Congressionally-established Depository Library Program. This program, with at least one depository library in every Congressional District, makes Government publications available at no cost for the use of the public in libraries across the country. It serves an additional function by effectively and inexpensively operating in such a way that all branches of the Federal Government are able to share government information.

The Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement
Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-40)

The Joint Committee worked with its parent committees, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Committee on House Administration to obtain the passage of Public Law 103-40 "The Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993". P.L. 103-40 requires that the Superintendent of Documents establish and maintain: (1) an electronic directory of Federal public information stored electronically; (2) a system of on-line access to the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, and other publications distributed by the Superintendent of Documents that he considers appropriate for distribution over this system; and (3) an electronic storage facility for federal electronic information provided in this system of access. These services will be provided free to depository libraries and inexpensively to others. As a first step in implementing the Access Act, GPO will be on the Internet in January providing access to its Federal Bulletin Board.

A prototype locator is being developed by GPO contract which will be operational by June 8, 1994. The locator will operate using natural language searches of participating databases using a user friendly interface. The locator will be adaptable for interfacing with a variety of formats of existing government databases including OMB's Government Information Locator (GILS) core elements.

Access to Electronic Information - Pilot Projects

In April of 1987, the Joint Committee on Printing passed a resolution approving the establishment of pilot projects to "test the feasibility and practicality of disseminating government publications to depository libraries in electronic formats". The projects which were completed in 1991, included three CD-ROM and two on-line projects. An evaluation survey was sent to all pilot participants with two of those evaluations now completed and published. The other three evaluations will be printed in early 1994. The Joint Committee on Printing considers these pilots to have been successful, and as a result has encouraged all agencies publishing on CD-ROM, floppy disks and on-line to cooperate with GPO in


Final Congressional Record (1985)

All 1400 depository libraries received a copy of the Congressional Record on CDROM. The evaluation report was completed and provided to the Joint Committee on Printing and the Appropriations Committee early in 1993. Librarians indicated general acceptance of the CD-ROM technology for the Record with nearly 62% favoring issuance of future years of a Record CD-ROM, although only 38 percent would accept it as a substitute for the paper format. Paper was preferred by 58%, CD-ROM by 32% and microfiche by 11%. CD-ROM was acceptable to 57% as a substitute for microfiche. The Joint Committee on Printing after reviewing the report established a task force to plan for the publication of additional years of the Congressional Record on CD-ROM. The software chosen will be compatible with the software selected for the on-line Record required in the GPO Access Act of 1993.

Census Publications on CD-ROM

Since the initial census publication on CD-ROM was sent in 1988 some 25 CD-ROM titles (annual and monthlies) are distributed to depository libraries on a regular basis. The evaluation survey covered all the titles sent before July of 1991. GPO estimates it will have a completed report by Spring of 1994.

Toxic Release Inventory Data Base (TRI)

Some 605 libraries received the 1987 edition of TRI on CD-ROM. Since that time the libraries have received the latest TRI data each year on CD-ROM and the EPA has provided 4 additional publications on CD-ROM or floppy disk. GPO projects a completion of the evaluation of the project by Spring 1994.

Commerce Department Economic Bulletin Board

Some 100 libraries accessed the on-line Economic Bulletin Board for 6 months. GPO estimates completion date of evaluation by Spring of 1994.

Department of Energy Bibliographic Data Base

The evaluation of this pilot project was completed in August of 1993. It was comprised of two components: I "Information Access", and II "Alternative Media for full-text delivery".

Seventeen depository libraries participated in component I and were given access to the Energy and Technology data base. The results of the pilot indicate that the public's use of scientific reports increases if they have knowledge of them through the library's catalog. But the libraries experienced problems in converting the MARC like records to the MARC format used in the standard library catalogs. The libraries would prefer that GPO convert the records before sending those records to the libraries.

Component II was composed of two major parts: (1) a survey of all 1,398 depository


scientific and technical information, and (2) a technology assessment of existing and developing media to determine their applicability to the storage and dissemination of fulltext information. A total of 1,064 of the 1,398 or 76% of the libraries responded to the survey.

Libraries indicated that patrons disliked microfiche and preferred paper or electronic formats. The evaluation concluded that, "At present, the most realistic electronic alternative to microfiche for dissemination of full-text information is CD-ROM. This medium is preferred by most libraries, is relatively inexpensive to produce, requires less storage space than microfiche or paper, retains the integrity of the data, and can be easily searched. However, the life span of this medium is currently unknown, rendering its potential for longrange storage of information somewhat questionable. The 14,000 DOE reports distributed to Depository Libraries per year could require the creation of as many as 4 new CD-ROM discs per week. In addition if libraries want to be able to provide simultaneous access to multiple users, the acquisition of CD-ROM "jukeboxes" and network interfaces could be required. Because many libraries have limited budgets for acquisition of additional equipment, CDROM may not be an ideal choice for disseminating full text despite its many benefits."

The report goes on to suggest that, "Providing a CD-ROM containing cataloging information corresponding to microfiche and paper shipments of DOE research results, rather than the full text of these documents, would provide better access and reference to this information. Additionally making the indexing information available on a CD-ROM would capitalize on the libraries expressed desire to access full text information via a PC."

Cataloging Backlog

As the microfiche production backlog was reduced and those titles were sent to be cataloged, they became part of the cataloging backlog. The Joint Committee is concerned that because of the backlog, the public does not know which publications have been distributed to depository libraries and cannot search for those titles in the national cataloging data bases. The backlog as of December 1993, is 13,000 titles. GPO receives about 2000 new titles each month and catalogs about 2000 each month. In order to eliminate the backlog, GPO needs to catalog an additional 1000 titles per month. Because of inadequate staffing the goal of zero backlog cannot be met.

The Joint Committee on Printing, GPO, and the Library of Congress are working together to expand the cooperative cataloging program so GPO can accept cataloging done by other agencies, particularly scientific and technical agencies so that eventually cataloging records can become part of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Acquisition, Classification and Shipment Information System (ACSIS)

The Joint Committee on Printing urged GPO to take steps to deal with fugitive documents, including tracking what publications are supposed to be in the Federal Depository Library Program. As a result, GPO developed ACSIS which provides an electronic consolidated source of information about publications in the program at every


ACSIS has eliminated redundant manual files previously maintained by a number of sections. Use of these records has increased accuracy and consistency in ordering, improved accountability, and reduced overages, shortages, and back-to-press charges. Through ACSIS, contractor deficiencies are identifiable at the time of receipt, thus allowing timely corrective action by GPO.

Advisory Committee

At the Joint Committee's suggestion, GPO established a small advisory committee of depository librarians to assist GPO in reviewing the various identification numbers assigned to government publications by GPO, in order to simplify and expedite the classification, acquisition and distribution of these publications.

Court Decisions

The Joint Committee persuaded all of the Federal circuit courts to provide their decisions to depository libraries over GPO's electronic Federal Bulletin Board. This will build upon the Joint Committee's earlier success in persuading the Supreme Court to provide their opinions over the FBB.

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The Congress established the Superintendent of Documents sales program to sell publications to the public on a cost-recovery basis at a reasonable price. In order to improve the operation of this program, the Joint Committee authorized GPO in 1993, to purchase a new telephone system, upgrade automation support and equipment and acquire new modular furniture. These improvements will be in place when the sales program moves out of rented space into the main GPO building in August of 1994. This move and upgrade will enable GPO to be more responsive to its customers with fewer staff and less space.

Federal Bulletin Board

Two years ago as the result of the Joint Committee's urging, GPO set up the Federal Bulletin Board (FBB) to provide current data in electronic format to depository libraries and the general public. The FBB has been so successful that it now provides over 4,500 files which include agency regulations, court decisions, newsletters and statistical data. In order to expand the accessibility to the public, FBB will be available over the Internet by January of 1994.


The Joint Committee on Printing continues to support the public's easy access to sales publications through the GPO bookstore program. In response to a JCP request for evaluation of this program and a plan for improving the bookstore's services, GPO initially connected all the bookstores by modem to the GPO headquarters electronic data bases. The stores can now review what books are in stock for placement of customer orders, review a customers deposit account to determine availability of funds and conduct many other

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