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E. Management Systems and Procedures

Pages 1x and 124

Recommendation:

The GPO planning process requires a complete reorientation in order for it to become an operational management tool. This means the current document must include timetables, rates of resource utilization, responsibility assignments, and measurement criteria, and links to the budget process.

Response:

The contractor has misconstrued the purpose of GPO's Five-Year Plan. The Public Printer established the Planning staff for the purpose of developing formal long-range strategic and contingency plans. The Five-Year Plan was not intended for use in day-to-day operations. Operational short-range planning is performed in the annual budget process by each cost center manager and it includes timetables, rates of resource utilization, responsibility assignments and measurement criteria as recommended by the contractor.

In addition, the annual budget includes planned rental and/or procurement of equipment needed to modernize operations; alternative ways of performing existing work; and funding for resources needed to implement new technology.

Although the Five-Year planning document, as currently formatted, appears to be more of a projection of short-range data as contained in the annual budget, increased emphasis will be placed on the long-range aspects of strategic and contingency planning. This is an ongoing process and appropriate action will be taken to ensure the planning emphasis applies as intended.

Pages ix and 124

Recommendation:

MBO and productivity must be integrated with each other and other processes, e.g., budget, planning, etc. Also, the 350-400 contemplated objectives for next year should be substantially reduced in order to prevent the process from becoming a mechanical reporting system as opposed to a management tool.

Response:

The contractor implies that GPO's MBO and Productivity Programs, etc., are not integrated. This is not so. Through the use of our budgeting process, the MBO's, productivity, planning, etc., processes are integrated at the cost center level. GPO has over 200 cost centers and each cost center manager is required, in the preparation of the annual budget, to include estimates of workload, staffing requirements necessary to accomplish this workload, functional objectives, planned capital improvements, etc.

Response:

Consideration of the career backgrounds of the agency's key executives does not substantiate this finding. The following current officials were originally hired from outside the GPO: Assistant Public Printer for Management and Administration, Assistant Public Printer (Superintendent of Documents), Assistant Public Printer (Planning), Deputy Assistant Public Printer (Superintendent of Documents), General Counsel, Director of Audits, Printing Procurement Manager, Customer Service Manager, Quality Control and Technical Manager, Director of Data Systems, Comptroller, Director of Engineering, Director of General Services, Director of Security, Director of Labor-Management Relations, Director of Personnel, Director of Documents Support Service, Director of Library and Statutory Distribution Service, Director of Documents Sales Service. of the 24 GPO executives at or above the level of Department/Service/ Staff Office head, 18 do not have a craft background. Included among the professional positions at GPO are several Medical Doctors (MD's), a number of CPA's and attorneys, certified data processing professionals (CDP's), numerous college graduates with advanced degrees, including PHD's, etc.

Additionally, the GPO has a formal Executive Manpower Resources Board
(EMRB) which reviews, encourages, and authorizes executive training
and development. The GPO has a high percentage of participation in
executive manpower courses offered by the Federal Executive Institute
(FEI), American Management Association, numerous professional associa-
tion training programs, etc.

Page 123

Recommendation:

Since there are currently no plans to study this situation, it is our recommendation that a project be initiated to determine if the prevailing perceptions are accurate and the reasons why.

Response:

With regard to the recruiting and retention of young professionals, no such study is necessary because, in general, the agency has had very little difficulty in this area. There have been some problems in hiring auditors, accountants, engineers, and computer programmers, but these are shortage categories throughout the Government and in the private sector. Personnel Service monitors our losses of young professional employees and compares our retention rate to those of other Federal agencies. Interagency movement is to be expected for these employees as a group. They are generally more mobile than senior employees.

E. Management Systems and Procedures

Pages 1x and 124

Recommendation:

The GPO planning process requires a complete reorientation in order for it to become an operational management tool. This means the current document must include timetables, rates of resource utilization, responsibility assignments, and measurement criteria, and links to the budget process.

Response:

The contractor has misconstrued the purpose of GPO's Five-Year Plan. The Public Printer established the Planning staff for the purpose of developing formal long-range strategic and contingency plans. The

Plan was not intended for use in day-to-day operations. Operational short-range planning is performed in the annual budget process by each cost center manager and it includes timetables, rates of resource utilization, responsibility assignments and measurement criteria as recommended by the contractor.

In addition, the annual budget includes planned rental and/or procurement of equipment needed to modernize operations; alternative ways of performing existing work; and funding for resources needed to implement new technology.

Although the Five-Year planning document, as currently formatted, appears to be more of a projection of short-range data as contained in the annual budget, increased emphasis will be placed on the long-range aspects of strategic and contingency planning. This is an ongoing process and appropriate action will be taken to ensure the planning emphasis applies as intended.

Pages ix and 124

Recommendation:

MBO and productivity must be integrated with each other and other processes, e.g., budget, planning, etc. Also, the 350-400 contemplated objectives for next year should be substantially reduced in order to prevent the process from becoming a mechanical reporting system as opposed to a management tool.

Response:

The contractor implies that GPO's MBO and Productivity Programs, etc., are not integrated. This is not so. Through the use of our budgeting process, the MBO's, productivity, planning, etc., processes are integrated at the cost center level. GPO has over 200 cost centers and each cost center manager is required, in the preparation of the annual budget, to include estimates of workload, staffing requirements necessary to accomplish this workload, functional objectives, planned capital improvements, etc.

As we told the contractor at the initial interview, everything planned has not been accomplished. Integration of GPO's management information and control systems is a continuing effort. While we recognize that there is always room for improvement, GPO has come a long way in the past few years.

The contractor also recommends that the number of objectives should be substantially reduced. The contractor's recommendation appears somewhat contradictory regarding the first part of the recommendation where more integration of MBO's with other processes is stressed. On one hand, the contractor suggests that MBO's be integrated with productivity and budget planning, etc., which implies greater use; and on the other hand, it suggests we reduce the number of MBO's.

In addition to budget, productivity, etc., Public Law 95-454, dated October 13, 1978, an Act to reform the Civil Service laws, requires performance evaluations based on critical elements of an employee's job. Obviously, this will result in more than 400 critical elements. The MBO program requires the establishment of objectives and action plans which provide data that can be used for the multiple purpose discussed above.

Pages x and 125

Recommendation:

There needs to be a comprehensive "top-down" requirements analysis performed in order to inventory organization-wide information requirements, thereby promoting the development of Integrated systems.

Response:

We have been doing this for a number of years as we so informed the contractor at the initial interview stage. In 1974, GPO established the Automated Data Services Steering Committee which is comprised of top management officials who are responsible for managing GPO's data processing resources including the establishment of integrated data bases. This is an ongoing project.

Page 126

Recommendation:

A GPO-wide data automation plan that is coordinated with the GPO FiveYear Plan should be developed. Additionally, the Data Base Administrator would develop guidelines and criteria for the implementation of a data base approach that would establish a single source for updating operating information. In this way, consistent results from operating data are ensured.

Response:

We agree with this recommendation, and a great deal of progress has been made toward this end.

[blocks in formation]

GPO should consider automation of cost accounting as an alternative to the highly labor intensive bookeeping process.

Response:

The recommendation strongly implies that none of the cost accounting system is automated. This is not so. As a matter of fact, almost every aspect of the cost accounting system has been automated and the contractor so acknowledges in various other parts of the Report. The remaining portions of the system to be automated are the hour cost books and the computation of the all inclusive hourly rate. Work is in process in this area, and we had advised the contractor that this automation was planned.

Pages x and 216

Recommendation:

GPO should adopt standard costing methodology to replace the continuous calculation and updating of the all inclusive rate. Such standards could be adjusted annually to maintain the revolving fund balance without the need for continuous interim monitoring.

Response:

The recommendation is based on an erroneous assumption, since the current cost accounting system is a standard cost accounting system and is recognized as such by the GAO. What the recommendation is implying is for GPO to establish a rigid rate and not to change the rate by interim monitoring. The only reason for adopting the contractor's recommendation would be to measure productivity with the standard cost system. This approach has two weaknesses. First, standard cost is a poor measure of productivity over the long run and we already have better means for measuring productivity. Second, the contractor's recommendation would destroy the effective use of standard costing methods for billing the customer agencies.

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