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The Joint Committee held 5 hearings this year on various issues concerning oversight of the Government Printing Office and the Federal Printing Program. The Joint Committee has printed the January and April hearings and expects to have the three remaining hearings published in early 1992.
IV. ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS POR PRINTING PAPERS PROCURED POR AND USED BY PEDERAL DEPARTMENTS
Government Paper Specifications Standards
The law requires the Joint Committee to set printing and writing paper standards for the Federal Government.
These paper quality standards must be used by all Federal Government publishers unless an exception is granted by the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee publishes the Government Paper Specifications Standards, which define minimum standards for the approximately 90 types of printing papers that the Federal Government uses. The standards also explain testing and acceptance criteria and indicate the availability of standard paper samples from the Government Printing Office.
2. Recycled Paper
In FY 1991, the Joint Committee on Printing continued to oversee the successful implementation of the Government Printing Office's comprehensive recycled paper purchase program. The program was begun in June, 1989, at the Committee's direction, based on the guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, as mandated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Since the program began, 95 percent of the paper and envelopes bought by GPO, for in-house production for the Congress and for sales to Federal agencies, has contained a minimum of 50 percent recovered materials content, as recommended in EPA guidelines.
In addition, the Committee directed GPO to purchase recycled newsprint with a minimum of 40 percent postconsumer waste content for use in producing the Congressional Record and the Federal Register beginning in 1992, if the price was competitive and the supply available. Toward that end, the GPO had already conducted a market survey of the products of six different suppliers of recycled newsprint. This survey of technical performance, level of competition, availability, and cost, concluded that it
that there was an "excellent chance that the purchase of recycled newsprint would compare favorably with the price of virgin newsprint." A 1990 solicitation seeking competitive bids on recycled newsprint was, unfortunately, unsuccessful as the bids received would have increased overall annual costs by some $500,000. I am pleased to report that during 1991 we successfully re-solicited for recycled newsprint to print the Congressional Record and Federal Registrar. The result is a contract that provides 4.6% savings as compared to the past contract for virgin fiber newsprint.
On June 25, 1990, in a letter to the Heads of All Federal Departments and Agencies and in a statement by then Chairman Ford on the floor of the Senate, the Committee announced its intention to move beyond the EPA's recommendations. Specifically, the Committee seeks to include in the recycled paper purchase initiative, several of the papers most commonly used in Government, notably copier paper and computer printout paper, that EPA had exempted from the program. While the Committee cannot guarantee these papers will be readily available at competitive prices, our goal is to indicate to the U.S. paper industry that the U.S. Government is prepared to buy additional recycled printing papers if they are available and affordably priced.
The specifications for each of the four types of paper included in this initiative (recycled copier paper, recycled computer forms bond, recycled offset paper, and stationery bond requiring at least 75 percent recovered fiber) permit the presence of groundwood in different proportions. This allowance for groundwood represents a significant change for the Joint Committee paper standards and recognizes that it can be difficult to ensure a totally groundwood-free feedstock from waste paper, especially if postconsumer sources are used.
Recycled copier paper became available to the Congress and Executive Branch agencies in August 1990, when GPO's first competitive purchase using the new paper standard (JCP 0-65, requiring 50 percent recovered material content) took place. GPO has continued to successfully purchase this paper throughout FY 91. It is important to note that the paper industry has responded quickly to the request for recycled copier paper. Most of the new recycled copier grades did not exist in 1988 when EPA
The Joint Committee's new paper standard for recycled bond (JCP G45) will provide the Congress and other Federal Government users with a letterhead stationery option containing a minimum of 75 percent recovered material content, of which 25 percent must be cotton or linen. In addition, the specification contains a new watermark that includes the word "recycled" above the American eagle. Users of this recycled stationery paper standard, as well as those who continue to use Federal Government stationery with 25 or 50 percent recovered cotton or linen fiber content, have been authorized to signify that the "Paper is made from recycled fibers".
3. Alkaline Paper
During FY 1990, the Joint Committee worked in close consultation with GPO to prepare the task force report on the current use of alkaline paper in Federal Government publishing. The report defines a strategy to identify publications of enduring value and to ensure that the alkaline paper that is available is matched with all printing that requires such paper.
The task force report revealed that in FY 1989 about 57 percent of the paper GPO bought for in-house Congressional use and for sales to Federal agencies was alkaline. As industry converts to alkaline paper making processes, largely due to financial advantages, GPO has received consistently higher percentages of alkaline paper each year. In FY 91, some 77 percent of the paper GPO bought was alkaline. This paper was priced competitively and bought through GPO's normal paper procurement channels. This demonstrates the growin presence of alkaline paper in the marketplace.
Our goal though, must be to ensure that the significant amounts of alkaline paper being bought, are actually used in publishing Government documents identified as having enduring value. To accomplish this, the Joint Committee, with GPO'S assistance, will develop and issue guidelines on the appropriate uses of alkaline and permanent papers in the printing of Government publications. A Government imprint also will be designed to signify whether a publication has been produced on
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE JOINT COMMITTEB'S BUDGET REQUEST FOR FISCAL YBAR 1993 AND THE APPROPRIATION APPROVED BY THE CONGRESS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1992
The Joint Committee on Printing's Fiscal Year 1993 budget request of $1,568,000 is $177,000 more than the amount appropriated to the Joint Committee for the current Fiscal Year. The Joint Committee is also asking for approval to increase the staff by two additional people with technical printing expertise to assist in the Committee's expanded Federal agency oversight activities. Of the increase being requested, $60,000 in funds would be allocated for those two positions if approved. An additional $6,000 is requested for Miscellaneous Expenses to accommodate an anticipation of increased staff travel also due to the expansion of oversight activities. Cost of Living increases comprise $44,000 of the budget request and finally, $30,000 is requested for administrative salary adjustments.
The Joint Committee on Printing has begun and will increasingly continue to play a much more active role in all areas of its jurisdiction. I respectfully request that this Fiscal Year 1993 budget be reviewed and evaluated with these increased areas of activity kept in mind. The Joint Committee on Printing intends to continue and improve its activities on behalf of the U.S. Congress to the benefit of the American people.
With my very best wishes,