Public printer resigns

Public Printer Bruce James, head of the Government Printing Office, announced that he will leave the agency, likely around the end of the year.

When James took office three and a half years ago, he pledged to remain public printer for three to five years, the time he estimated it would take to reposition GPO for the future. He said he believes the agency has accomplished that mission. Under James’ leadership, GPO has created its first information technology workforce that services the entire agency, planned a next-generation digital information system and moved into the business of secure and intelligent documents.

Many federal agencies now use paper or plastic documents embedded with security features. The new U.S. passports, for example, will contain tiny microchips and antennae.

In a recent roundtable discussion with Federal Computer Week, James said he imagined a future in which GPO will distribute video footage of actions that take place inside congressional chambers.

His decision to retire in the not too distant future was always his intention, he said today.

James said he and wife, Nora, would return home to Nevada after he grooms his replacement.

“This ties in with what I’ve talked about all along,” he said. “I certainly wouldn’t be leaving if I didn’t think we were on the way to full success.”

He added that he will stay until President Bush appoints a new public printer. “I thought it would be good to allow for a nice, smooth transition.”

James said he will devote his upcoming free time to higher education. James, a former chairman of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Board of Trustees, agreed to join the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. The association is a national organization that advises presidents, boards and trustees of higher education institutions. James will be working on a new model for 21st-century education.

Bruce James

In a letter to GPO employees that James sent this morning, he wrote, “I want to assure you that I will work hard to make a smooth transition of leadership so that GPO does not miss a step going forward. But at the end of the day it is up to you. Just as you have helped build the new, 21st-century GPO, it is you who must continue to move the agency forward, every day. I wouldn't leave if I was not sure you could do it.”

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