GPO asks for no budget request increase after buyouts, digital savings

Monday - 3/19/2012, 10:09am EDT

Jim Bradley, assistant public printer, GPO

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With a smaller staff through buyouts and reduced costs due to the shift to digital publishing, the Government Printing Office is requesting no increase in its budget for fiscal 2013.

"We asked for what we needed," said GPO Assistant Public Printer Jim Bradley.

In a March 15 hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, GPO said it would need fiscal 2012's level of funding of $126.2 million.

Last year, GPO was able to reduce its staff by 15 percent — or 312 employees — through buyout offers. The workforce currently has 1,900 employees, the lowest it's been in a century, Bradley said in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

The shift away from traditional printing has helped cut costs. However, 70 percent of GPO's work is preparing materials for both digital and print, Bradley said.

Throughout its 151 years, the agency has evolved with technological changes. For example, GPO started offering print copies of the budget since the '20s, Bradley said. Then the agency added a CD-ROM version and later posted the budget online. This year, GPO added a mobile app of the budget that has received 93,000 hits, he said.

GPO will continue to expand its mobile offerings. In November, the agency released a guide of members of Congress. On Tuesday the app will get an update that includes biographical information, local and D.C. contact information, and links to the members' websites.

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