Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2015

Posts in "GPO"

May 19, 2015

GPO’s Real Estate Firm Disputes Criticisms

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The global real estate firm tasked with crafting a plan to develop the Government Publishing Office’s parking lot is disputing an independent report claiming it mishandled lease negotiations with another government agency.

The GPO awarded CBRE a consulting services contract for the parking lot development last week, citing the firm’s experience with other federal government projects. But the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General found flaws in the firm’s lease negotiations and estimated the postal service could be overpaying $9.5 million a year for leases negotiated by the company. Full story

May 18, 2015

GPO Parking Lot Development Moves Forward

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing an ever-shrinking budget, the Government Publishing Office is moving forward with a plan to develop an employee parking lot for commercial real estate. But the real estate firm in charge of the plan faces questions about its management capabilities.

The GPO began requesting information about developing the space last July, and the legislative branch agency announced on May 14 it had awarded a consulting services contract to CBRE, a global real estate firm. Full story

April 15, 2015

Laurie Hall of GPO Works in Changing Environment

The GPO is moving toward more of a digital footprint. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The GPO is moving toward more of a digital footprint. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you hand a millennial an envelope of microfiche, chances are all you’ll get in return is a blank stare. That’s when Laurie Hall at the Government Publishing Office comes to the rescue.

Hall, who recently moved from her position as director of library technical services to be managing director of library services and content management, has worked at the GPO since 1985, and she has witnessed it undergo huge change as it converts to a more digital footing.

Full story

February 4, 2015

GPO Cuts Workforce to Lowest Levels in 100 Years

The GPO publishes the president's budget each year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The GPO publishes the president’s budget each year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Government Publishing Office announced Wednesday it has achieved its goal of reducing its workforce, amounting to the lowest number of GPO employees in 100 years. But the GPO also said the reduction will not hamper the office’s functions.

“GPO continues to better position itself to respond to the 21st century digital information needs of Congress, federal agencies, and the public,” GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks said in a statement. “Reducing costs and improving efficiency … are ongoing GPO objectives.” Full story

December 10, 2014

GPO Name Change, Dome Restoration in Legislative Branch Funding

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.,  discusses the dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoeven discusses the Dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislative branch spending in the year-end spending bill includes a slight increase from fiscal 2014, allocating $4.3 billion to agencies and instituting a number of policy changes, including changing the name of the Government Printing Office and developing online sexual harassment training for staffers.

Under the bill, the GPO would be re-named the Government Publishing Office “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” GPO spokesman Gary Somerset said Wednesday the office is pleased with the change and hopes Congress will pass the bill. Full story

October 7, 2014

GPO First Legislative Agency to Move to the Cloud

The GPO produces all federal government documents (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The GPO produces all government documents (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The U.S. Government Printing Office became the first legislative branch agency to transition to “cloud” technology, announcing Tuesday that the agency’s email system will move to the cloud by January.

“Moving the agency’s email services to the cloud will simplify our IT infrastructure enabling us to use those resources more effectively,” GPO Chief Information Officer Chuck Riddle said in a statement.

Riddle told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview that the GPO has been planning to transition to the cloud for the past year and a half and data security was a key consideration. “Everything we do we obviously approach it from a security mindset first and foremost,” said Riddle. He noted the cloud was not public, but for government use only. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 3:50 p.m.

July 10, 2014

GPO Might Turn Employee Parking Lot Into Commercial Development

The Government Printing Office is exploring commercial development of a parking lot near its North Capitol Street headquarters. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Government Printing Office is exploring commercial development of a parking lot near its North Capitol Street headquarters. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In addition to plans to trim 100 workers from its ranks, the Government Printing Office is considering commercial development of an employee parking lot about a block west of Union Station.

The financially strapped agency on Thursday put out a request for information from commercial contractors concerning development of the GPO-owned parking lot on H Street Northwest. Bound by North Capitol Street and New Jersey Avenue, the 3.2-acre lot sits just north of the Massachusetts Avenue (NOMA) Business Improvement District and across from one of the District’s new Walmart stores.

According to the request posted on a General Services Administration site, the “GPO is seeking to better understand the available solutions and capabilities that industry can offer for commercial development of its Parking Lot, to include continued provision of parking space for GPO’s employees, which GPO might consider using in the near future.”

Except for two police checkpoint booths, paving and fencing, the lot is mainly barren. The information provided will be used for internal decision making for future actions by GPO.

The 152-year-old legislative branch agency, has been facing congressional pressure to transform its operations to cope with a changing information landscape and declining need for printed government documents. The parking lot development is the second initiative announced this month by Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks to improve efficiency.

Last week, GPO announced plans to seek permission from Congress and the Office of Personnel Management to offer buyouts in an effort to cut 100 employees from its 1,850-person workforce — a reduction of about 5 percent.

“GPO’s technology transformation as the Government’s publisher includes an effort to ensure we are getting the highest and best use of all our resources,” Vance-Cooks said in a statement on the request. “We look forward to the concepts and ideas that we will receive in response to this [request for information].”

By Hannah Hess Posted at 12:35 p.m.

July 1, 2014

GPO Wants to Offer Buyouts to 100 Workers

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the need for paper copies of government documents continues to decline, the Government Printing Office plans to trim 100 positions by the end of 2014.

The legislative branch agency said Tuesday it will seek permission from Congress and the Office of Personnel Management to offer lump-sum payments of up to $25,000 as an incentive to voluntarily leave, following the strategy used during the previous round of buyouts in 2011. The GPO says it hopes to cut about 5 percent of its 1,850-person workforce.

Since 1980, the GPO has reduced its workforce by 70 percent, including the 2011 buyout that targeted 25 percent of the agency’s managers and supervisory personnel. Veteran employees such as plant manager John Crawford, who started with the GPO in 1966, have watched technological change whittle the workforce from a peak of about 8,500 people. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 1:16 p.m.

April 28, 2014

After Half-Century in Print Trade, GPO Manager Embraces More Change

John Crawford, who started as a bookbinder in 1966, poses by one of the bookbinding machines at the Government Printing Office on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Crawford, who started as a bookbinder in 1966, poses by one of the binding machines at the Government Printing Office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Buyouts and layoffs don’t scare John Crawford, the recently appointed managing director of Plant Operations at the Government Printing Office.

When Crawford joined the GPO in 1966, with about eight years of experience in the trade and no high school diploma, the agency employed about 8,500 people. As technology advanced, the journeyman bookbinder steadily rose through ranks and the workforce shrank to about 1,900.

“If you don’t change, you get left behind,” Crawford said, climbing the stairs at the GPO’s North Capitol Street Northwest headquarters after inspecting a state-of-the-art digital press churning out glossy voter guides for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. “I’m a change person. A lot of people are afraid of change — I’m not.” Full story

How Much Do Congressional Contractors Make? It Depends

Democrats have championed pay issues on Capitol Hill, promoting equal pay for women, pushing legislation that would increase the minimum wage and praising President Barack Obama for imposing his policies on federal contractors.

New executive orders to bar federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other and require them to provide compensation data based on gender and race have won praise from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as “concrete actions to advance the equal pay effort.”

But the administration’s new rules, including an executive order to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts, only apply to companies that contract with the executive branch. The contract employees of the legislative branch — workers performing a broad range of jobs around Capitol Hill, ranging from technology support and construction, to security, food and janitorial services — are not necessarily affected. Full story

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