Monday, April 4, 2011

Great example of a massive daily print job that should be halted, once and for all

Great Article … for those of us who are interested in examples of how the Federal Government wastes taxpayer dollars! (Keep in mind that I’m “conservative” on many issues, but a “liberal” on other issues.)

This article appeared on the web-site of I’m going to show you the first two paragraphs of that article and then, later on, provide a “link” to the full article.

Is Printing the Congressional Record Wasteful?

By Cary Sherburne on March 31st, 2011

On a relatively recent visit to the Government Printing Office, I was surprised to learn that despite the great work former Public Printers Bruce James and Bob Tapella have done with FDSys (the system that makes electronic versions of government documents such as the Congressional Record and Federal Register available to the government and the public), the GPO was still printing the Congressional Record–about 1,500 copies DAILY every day Congress is in session, I was told. (And the Federal Register, by the way.) I questioned why that would be, since the information is available online before it is available in printed form. Each issue can be hundreds of pages, depending on what went on in Congress that day. I wondered what happens to all that paper. Where is it stored? Does anyone ever look at it? Why is it even still being printed in those volumes? According to my tour guide, people still wanted the paper. And according to the release cited below, that number is actually 4,551 copies! (I thought 1,500 was low if it was going to everyone, multiple copies to each Congress person’s office, etc.).

Today, Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced the Congressional Record Printing Savings Act of 2011, a bill they say would save taxpayers up to $8 million by requiring the Government Printing Office to limit excessive printing of the Congressional Record. According to the release, “The GPO annually spends over $8 million to print hard copies of the Congressional Record that are rarely used since these documents have been digitally available since 1994. Approximately 4,551 copies of the Congressional Record are printed daily [on offset web presses] at the cost of roughly $240 per original page. The Congressional Record Printing Savings Act would require that the distribution of the printed edition is limited to archival purposes and those copies explicitly requested by the Vice President or Members of Congress.”

Here’s a “link” to the full article:

Joel’s comment(s):

I was born in Washington, D.C., lived in the D.C. area until I was 45 years old and my first reprographics company operated throughout the Washington-Baltimore Common Market Area. I’ve actually visited the GPO operation that prints the “Congressional Record” (did that many years ago.)

I say “give ‘em” an iPAD or Kindle and let them read the electronic version of the “Congressional Record.” In this day and age it makes ZERO sense to print hard-copies of that daily report.

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