Government Information

Lawmakers look to acknowledge GPO scope with name change

Davita Vance-Cooks

Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks supports changing the name of the agency she leads.

The Government Printing Office could be getting a minor facelift – one that reflects the changing mission of the agency but won't require a change in its familiar acronym.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) have introduced legislation to rename the agency the Government Publishing Office. Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks would see her title change to director of the Government Publishing Office. The bill also would do away with some archaic job requirements, including the demand that the agency head be a "practical printer" and "versed in the art of bookbinding."

Vance-Cooks, who was sworn in as public printer in August 2013, and before that held the post on an acting basis since January 2012, has long advocated the name change. "Publishing defines a broad range of services that includes print, digital and future technological advancements,” she said in a statement supporting the Klobuchar-Chambliss bill. “The name Government Publishing Office better reflects the services that GPO currently provides and will provide in the future,"

While the GPO has retained a core business in printing passports and other secure credentials for the government, its work is increasingly online and virtual. The workforce has been reduced by about 70 percent from a high of 6,500 in the 1980s to about 1,900 today. More cuts could be coming through attrition or buyouts, according to recent congressional testimony from Vance-Cooks.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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