2019 is not starting off on a good foot for the Government Publishing Office (GPO). NPR reports that in June 2018, GPO’s Office of Inspector General sent an interim report to the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), the congressional committee that oversees the agency finding mismanagement, misuse of position, and disregard” for hiring and contracting rules. We’ll see how this plays out, and hopefully it won’t negatively effect the working of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) which GPO runs in collaboration with 1100+ libraries across the US.
It’s important to note that this isn’t the first time that GPO has found itself in hot water, and this allegation, in my opinion, sounds like a single instance of personnel issue gone bad, not a case of massive organizational corruption. Remember that in 2007 – 2008, GPO’s leadership — not coincidentally led by the Trump Administration’s current nominee for GPO Director and former public printer Robert C. Tapella! — was caught in a case of outsourcing and massively overcharging the State Department for the sale of millions of blank passports and then going on spending sprees and travel junkets in order to spend the ill-gained profits. The story was covered by the Washington Times and also republished on a bulletin board of a right wing political bulletin board.
Allegations of cronyism, wasteful spending and other misconduct are roiling a little-known federal agency in charge of producing and distributing the government’s official documents, including paper questionnaires for the upcoming 2020 census.According to an internal watchdog report obtained by NPR, two officials at the U.S. Government Publishing Office — previously known as the Government Printing Office — allegedly violated federal laws and regulations by filling agency jobs with unqualified candidates, including an official’s son. The GPO’s Office of Inspector General has not finalized its findings, but in June, it sent an interim report to the joint congressional committee that oversees the agency.
Lawmakers on the Senate Rules and Administration Committee have “sought additional information regarding allegations of misconduct at the GPO,” according to Katie Boyd, spokeswoman for Chairman Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. His committee shares oversight of the GPO with the House Administration Committee.
The inspector general’s office found “mismanagement, misuse of position, and disregard” for hiring and contracting rules by two of the agency’s most senior managers over the course of four years, beginning in 2014 during the Obama administration, according to the report.
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