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CONSIGNED AGENTS Mr. BENJAMIN. The GPO has agreements with 118 consigned agents in other government agencies. Describe the nature of the agreements here and their purpose. Is the current system the most desirable? Explain.
[The information follows:]
The Consigned Sales Agent Program is part of the self-sustaining GPO General Sales Program. The agreements specify that the sponsoring agency provide space and manpower to sell, and that the Agents deposit the proceeds from sales in the U.S. Treasury to the credit of our General Sales program. GPO performs the inventory management function and pays for printing, postage, and mailing sup plies. Participating agencies sell only their own publications and generally only the most popular ones.
The purpose of the program is to make it more convenient for the general public to purchase Government documents. The current system is considered very desirable because, with 118 additional sales outlets located throughout the United States, Government documents are more accessible to the general public. Consigned Agent sales in fiscal year 1978 were $1.5 million.
STUDY COMMENTS SOLICITED Mr. BENJAMIN. Before proceeding with the specific discussion of several recommendations made in the Coopers & Lybrand study, which I will give to you for the record, I would like to solicit your general comments concerning the report. Also, for the record, please explain your position with regard to each recommendation made. What steps, if any, have been taken to implement, or will be taken to implement, the recommendations?
Do you have a general observation you can share with us at this time, and then follow up on questions 23 through 28?
Mr. BOYLE. I can make an observation now. We have responded to all of the recommendations in the Coopers & Lybrand report to the Joint Committee on Printing. The study encompassed a very broad area and many complicated areas in the GPO. I think for the time involved to do the study, I would agree with the general observations of the contractor to the JCP, Coopers-Lybrand, that they did not see any need in the Government Printing Office for sweeping changes. In fact, in their Executive Summary they complimented us somewhat for the progress that has been made.
We agree with some of the recommendations that they need a further look and we are going to look at these areas. Many of the recommendations that were made were recommendations based on what we told them in their study that we were already doing. That was turned into a recommendation. Naturally we will continue to work on these projects.
Some of the recommendations we believe are regressive, and we have good reasons for not agreeing with them.
If you desire, I will give you my comments to the Joint Committee on Printing, step-by-step, which is a comment on every recommendation.
Mr. BENJAMIN. How voluminous is that?
Mr. BOYLE. It is a considerable number of pages. It is every recommendation, plus our response to the recommendation.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Why don't you give us for the record just a summary of that, and then as to the specific questions that I have submitted for the record, give us your observations plus your comments to the Joint Committee on that.
(Questions 24 through 28 follow:]
SUMMARY OF GPO COMMENTS ON THE REPORT ENTITLED "REVIEW,
POLICIES, SYSTEMS, PROCESSES, AND MANAGEMENT OF THE U.S.
GPO should consider appointing an Assistant Public Printer for Operations, thereby enabling the Deputy Public Printer to become more actively involved with the overall management of GPO.
The contractor apparently has taken a textbook approach that the Chief Executive Officer (Public Printer) and his deputy should not have specific line responsibilities. The contractor implies that because the Deputy Public Printer has specific line responsibilities, the Public Printer does not receive sufficient assistance to properly perform his duties. This is not so.
The present arrangement of duties and functions of the Deputy Public Printer does indeed allow sufficient time for him to assist the Public Printer in overall management of the Government Printing Office as well as time to manage the Operations functions of GPO. By the same token this arrangement grants the Public Printer enough resource time to attend to the "outside" activities referred to in the Report.
The Report fails to fully recognize that the organizational structure of Operations provides the Deputy Public Printer with managers for each of the four Departments who effectively manage the day-to-day activities of their respective areas of concern. This working arrangement allows ample time for the Deputy Public Printer to consult with the Assistant Public Printers on matters pertaining to overall Office matters and to assist and advise the Public Printer on policy matters for the entire Office.
The addition of an Assistant Public Printer for Operations would only create an unnecessary expensive management position that could not contribute any more management expertise than now exists in the present organizational structure. In fact, an organization identical to the contractor's recommendation was used in the past in response to a similar recommendation. After about a three-year trial, there was unanimous agreement, led by the incumbent of the Assistant Public Printer for Operations position that the organizational structure was not only a waste of valuable manpower, but also interfered with efficient operations. Consequently, there was a return to the present organizational structure in 1973 which empirical evidence has demonstrated to be the best for GPO.
There should be a study to determine the feasibility of merging the Printing Procurement Department and the Materials Management Service. The purpose of this project would be to determine if the consolidation of procurement activities would promote economies of scale, increased planning and control, and improved utilization of manpower.
A study of the feasibility of combining the printing Procurement De partment and Materials Management Service is not necessary since the two functions were combined for many years as the Purchasing Division and there already is sufficient empirical data to evaluate the proposition. Although both are considered "procurement" functions, they were and are not compatible and, when combined as a single Division, they operated as two separate and distinct organizational units reporting to one director. Printing is purchased by printing specialists under Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1, while the contracting officers in Materials Management Service procure materials and supplies, machinery and equipment (including ADP equipment), and services by following the Federal Procurement Regulations promulgated by the General Services Administration. Personnel are not interchangeable, nor can the functions be combined; therefore, no savings in space or costs was, nor could be realized.
The function of Printing Procurement is operations oriented in that it serves other agencies, by purchasing or producing (in the field Printing Offices) a single commodity, while Materials Management Service supports the internal operations of the Government Printing Office. They are, therefore, properly placed in the operating and support areas, respectively. Further, procurement is a relatively small part of the overall Materials Management function, which encompasses inventory control, shipping, receiving, warehousing, surplus property disposal, and traffic management. This combination of supply, procurement, and transportation is organizationally sound, and these responsibilities are traditionally assigned to the support area. They were separated in the early 1970's and that action has been vindicated every day since.
Pages vii and 118
Customer Service procedures should be modified so that, when it is warranted, users can contact directly the technical specialist responsible for their job. Additionally, GPO should develop in-house