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Rachel Maddow had some examples of how the sequester — or as she so elegantly put it, the “nearly universally agreed-upon to be stupid self-inflicted problem we made for ourselves in Washington” — has negatively effected the US, with last friday being a mandatory furlough day for 115,000 federal employees. Maddow pointed out that this was the “largest govt shutdown since the ’90s.”
Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks testified before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations on Feb 26, 2013. She discussed the potential impact of the upcoming sequester scheduled for March 1, the results of the recent National Academy of Public Administration study of GPO, and GPO’s appropriations request for FY 2014, which will be submitted to the House and Senate later this week. The GPO press release about the testimony does not mention the NAPA recommendation to charge fees for access to FDsys (see NAPA releases report on GPO).
Excerpt from press release, emphasis added:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2013
ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER TESTIFIES BEFORE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
WASHINGTON – Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks testified before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations today, discussing the potential impact of the upcoming sequester scheduled for March 1, the results of the recent National Academy of Public Administration study of GPO, and GPO’s appropriations request for FY 2014, which will be submitted to the House and Senate later this week.
Under the sequester, GPO will see its appropriations cut by 5.3%, or approximately $6.7 million, which will affect the agency’s statutory and essential functions. To offset the cut, GPO’s plan is to freeze hiring, overtime, performance awards, outside training, administrative travel, and nonessential maintenance and repairs. GPO may also face a decrease in revenue from Federal agency customers who order less printing and other information services due to the impact of sequester on their budget. The extent of this revenue impact is unknown at this time. To offset it, GPO will cut back on technology and other investments, which would delay the development of digital products and services, such as mobile apps for Congress and Federal agencies, as well as other technology upgrades and projects to improve public access to Government information. If necessary, a furlough of GPO’s workforce may also be implemented.
The recent study of GPO by the National Academy of Public Administration underscores the value of GPO’s products and services in Keeping America Informed, and makes useful recommendations to better position the Federal Government in the digital era, strengthen GPO’s business model, and build the GPO of the future. Vance-Cooks voiced support for the recommendations and said the agency is already at work on them. For FY 2014, GPO plans to request $128.5 million, a 1.2% increase over the funding currently provided for FY 2013. The request includes a decrease of $11.5 million in congressional printing costs and an increase of $12.4 million in investments for continued growth for GPO’s digital systems and investments.
“Regardless of budget constraints, GPO is committed to serving as the digital information platform and provider of secure credentials for the Federal Government,” said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “GPO is prepared to make the necessary cutbacks in order to continue to carry out its mission of Keeping America Informed.”