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Part 13: Nonlawyer’s journey through Title 44: Printing and sale of extra copies of documents

This post, all earlier postings in this series, and my “not a lawyer” disclaimer can be found at or through our library under Nonlawyer’s Journey through Title 44.

Today we consider 44 USC 1706, which states:



Sec. 1706. Printing and sale of extra copies of documents

The Public Printer shall furnish to applicants giving notice before the matter is put to press, not exceeding two hundred and fifty to any one applicant, copies of bills, reports, and documents. The applicants shall pay in advance the price of the printing. The printing of these copies for private parties may not interfere with the printing for the Government.

(Pub. L. 90-620, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1279.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on 44 U.S. Code, 1964 ed., Sec. 114 (Jan. 12, 1895, ch. 23, Sec. 42, 28 Stat. 607; June 30, 1932, ch. 314, Sec. 307, 47 Stat. 409).

This is another section of the law where I needed some extra help in interpreting it, so I consulted with my favorite Title 44 expert. Paraphrasing what she told me, this section allows people or companies who are aware that a given document is going to published to purchase up to 250 copies prior to the Government Printing Office (GPO) deciding whether that given item will be sold through the Sales Program. Apparently not everything is. Sometimes these are standing orders – like someone wanting a printed copy of everything produced by the Judiciary Committee. It is my understanding that few firms take advantage of this provision, and my source believes there is nothing objectionable about this practice. I don’t see anything wrong with it either.

If there are any mistakes made above, you can assume they are mine and not those of the person I consulted.

One thing I didn’t ask about is how people who don’t have standing orders get notified of upcoming documents. Anyone out there know about that?

Next time, which should be next week, we’ll look at the portion of Title 44 that allows GPO to make reprints of government documents. Nice to know that some documents were popular enough to require multiple printings!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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