Page images
PDF
EPUB

1969 is $31,200,000, an increase of $4,500,000 over the current year appropriation.

For the Office of Superintendent of Documents, the request for fiscal year 1969 is $8,112,200, an increase over the appropriation already enacted for 1968 of $608,000. In connection with that item, as I understand, you are going to seek a fiscal 1968 supplemental in the amount of $145,200 for the pay act increase of last October.

The third item is a request for fiscal year 1969 for $2.5 million for plans and designs for a new Government Printing Office building. I believe we have had that item before us in some earlier year.

Mr. Harrison, we will be glad to have you present your general statement at this time.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE Public PRINTER

Mr. Harrison. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.

The demand for printing and binding services by the Congress and our nearly 100 customer agencies has continued to grow. Last year Office income reached $200 million--largest in our history-and our business projections suggest this trend will continue. Every indication points to a continuation of a rising need for more printing.

I am pleased to report to you that this 14 percent increase in our 1967 business volume was handled with the same dispatch and economy Government Printing Office customer agencies have learned to respect in years past.

Perhaps the Congressional Record--at the same time our largest, and most important assignment—is the best example of the direction and magnitude of the growth trend. The 2d session of the 89th Congress required 34,812 pages to cover its proceedings while the 1st session of the 90th Congress needed 44,183 pages an increase of 27 percent. This same pattern has been reflected in varying degrees throughout the Government and, understandably, has severely taxed our facilities, our personnel, and our financing.

LACK OF SPACE FOR MOVING BUSINESS VOLUME

I am sure I need not remind you again of the serious problems we face in attempting to meet the growing demands for printing and binding in a plant which was not designed, and cannot be remodeled, to serve these needs effectively. I am pleased to report to you, however, that some progress is being made in this area, and we are hopeful that a satisfactory solution can be reached in the near future.

IXADEQUATE NUMBER OF APPRENTICES

Likewise, I have often made known to you the problems we face in attracting and keeping competent journeymen. We continue to provide comprehensive apprentice training in all phases of printing and binding. This program aims at producing competent and skilled craftsmen but, as you know, is handicapped by what we believe is an unrealistic

atutory limitation on our efforts in this area. I can only hope that the law will be modified to permit the training of an adequate number of

apprentices, who, with those journeymen we recruit through civil service, will be sufficient to keep our working force at needed strength.

ADEQUATE WORKING CAPITAL With regard to our financing, I am pleased to report that the $15 million increase in our working capital funds which you authorized in fiscal year 1967, has so far proved to be adequate in providing the increased financing requirements of our expanding work volume. We do not anticipate any problems in this area during the coming year but we must face the reality that a continuation of the present trend of increasing printing and binding demands may require additional working capital in the future.

MODERNIZATION STEPS

In order to deal effectively with the problems of increasing volume in the face of an inadequate plant and a shortage of qualified journeymen, we have been vigorously exploring every avenue which offers promise of increased efficiency through improved technology. Our new Linotron photocomposing system is now installed and operating. Many publications, now reproduced from printouts on data processing equipment, will be produced more economically, and with graphic-arts quality through use of the Linotron.

For example, the first job placed on this system consisted of 32,701 pages which made a total of 81 volumes averaging 404 pages per volume. This job was produced in record time at an estimated savings of $320,000 over the next most economical method of production.

Also, through the efforts of our Committee on Modernization of Machinery and Equipment, we keep a constant check on the efficiency of our production facilities. Inefficient or obsolescent machinery is replaced with more modern and efficient equipment, which must be fully justified, first on the basis of need and then on the ability of the new systems to recover purchase and installation costs from improved efficiency.

We have prepared justifications for the various classifications of congressional printing and binding for fiscal year 1969. I will be pleased to submit them for the record or, if you prefer, I will read item by item.

Mr. ANDREWS. We will insert that later.

LIMITATION ON NUMBER OF APPRENTICES

Mr. Harrison, referring to page 2 of your statement where you mention the apprentice training, what do you mean when you say "an unrealistic statutory limitation on our efforts in this area”? In other words, what is the statutory limitation, how long have you had it. what efforts are being made to increase it, and have you submitted a bill or has the Joint Committee on Printing made a request in this matter?

Mr. HARRISON. Section 40 of title 44, United States Code, places a limitation of 200 apprentices that we can employ at any one time. This limitation was placed in 1924, at which time it was fairly realistic if you are going to limit apprentices in a production operation. In one breath it says the Public Printer may employ as many as he needs but not more than he needs provided not more than 200 apprentices shall be employed at one time. We have been endeavoring since 1961 to have this limitation increased or removed altogether. Bills were dropped in both the House and the Senate to increase the limit to 600 back in 1961. Mr. ANDREWS. From 200?

Mr. HARRISON. From 200. The Senate had hearings on it and agreed to increase it to 400. When the bill came to the House it was felt 400 was not sufficient, that it should be 600, and in the process nothing was done. We have been unable to get a House bill introduced since 1963. The Columbia Typographical Union opposed this. They were the only union that appeared against it. It is my understanding they have been promised a hearing.

Mr. ANDREWS. What is their opposition?

Mr. HARRISON. They would rather, when I need employees, that I come to them. But they can't supply them.

Mr. ANDREWS. You cannot get 200 of them?

Mr. HARRISON. No. I could hire journeymen from them if they could supply them. We have had a short supply of proofreaders for some time and they can't supply them. The industry is working very diligently to get Congress to increase this limitation or remove it and let me train as many apprentices as needed.

Mr. ANDREWS. How many would you consider to be the proper number?

Mr. HARRISON. I doubt we would ever get more than 400 even if we had the limitation removed, because if you get too many apprentices you will have a training school rather than a production operation.

Mr. ANDREWS. What is your turnover in the Government Printing Office? You have how many employees overall ?

Mr. HARRISON. We have about 7,800 overall.
Mr. ANDREWS. What about the turnover?

Mr. HARRISON. The turnover is very low. It is probably the lowest average in the Government. But each year I lose between 250 and 275 journeymen, through retirement and other causes.

Mr. ANDREWS. What do you consider a journeyman?

Mr. HARRISON. That is a person who has gone through an apprenticeship and is a craftsman, such as a compositor, a pressman, a bookbinder, a photographer, a photoengraver; there are about 14 crafts that qualify as journeymen. We employed 2,126 of these journeymen as of the end of last year. With the 200 limitation in the apprentice program the most I can hope to train is 40 a year. That leaves the difference between 40 and the 265 we lose each year to be filled from outside plants, and these people are really up in arms. I had a letter come in just last week about a man we appointed. He had worked for a printing plant in Virginia and in sending out our inquiry as to his ability and character the man wrote back what a wonderful man he was and at the bottom he said: “Another man stolen from us by the Government Printing Office. We hope you like him as much as we did."

92-655–6849

TURNOVER RATE

Mr. ANDREWS. What did you say your rate of turnover was percentagewise ?

Mr. HARRISON. About 14 percent.

Mr. ANDREWS. Is that more than the national average of Federal employees?

Mr. HARRISON. It is lower than the average.

Mr. ANDREWS. What about your absentee problem? Does that cut any figures with you?

Mr. HARRISON. Of course it always does, particularly when you operate on a crash program as we do all the time. However, our people are loyal. As long as Congress is in session I think our absenteeism is low.

Mr. ANDREWS. They operate around the clock, 7 days a week?

NUMBER OF WORK SHIFTS Mr. HARRISON. We operate two full shifts and a staggered intermediate shift.

Mr. ANDREWS. You do have three shifts? Mr. HARRISON. Yes; but not completely over the intermediate shift. Mr. ANDREWS. Are you closed over the weekend? Mr. HARRISON. Hardly ever. Mr. ANDREWS. Do you operate on Sunday? Mr. HARRISON. Sunday and holidays. Mr. ANDREWS. So you have a full-time operation 24 hours a day? Mr. HARRISON. We try to keep our Sunday work down as much as we can.

Mr. ANDREWS. Do you pay extra for work on Sunday and holidays? Mr. HARRISON. Time and a half; yes sir.

Mr. ANDREWS. Did you tell us the total number of employees you had; is it 7,800 ?

Mr. HARRISON. 7,825.
Mr. ANDREWS. Is that on the payroll today?

Mr. HARRISON. On the payroll as of January 31, 1968. This is the total. It includes the Superintendent of Documents, his WAE employees, the main plant employees, and 517 in our field offices.

LINOTRON MACHINE Mr. ANDREWS. On page 3 of your statement where you refer to the Linotron machine, tell us more about the details of the first job yon produced with this new system at an estimated saving of $320,000. That is a striking amount. Mr. HARRISON. Yes. Mr. ANDREWS. How many of those machines do you have? Mr. Harrison. One. Another will be installed this spring. Mr. ANDREWS. Has the second one been funded? Mr. HARRISON. Yes. The original contract was for the two machines. Mr. ANDREWS. How much do those machines cost? Mr. HARRISON. $2,100,000. Mr. ANDREWS. Each?

Mr. HARRISON. No. That was the amount for the development contract and the two machines. This included also a large amount for what we call software, programing, et cetera.

Mr. ANDREWs. Describe in layman's language, what kind of machine it is, and what it does. You have one in operation and another on order to be delivered in the near future. Both have been funded ?

Mr. HARRISON. These are to be paid out of our revolving fund. We have not paid the full amount. We have paid $769,763 to date. The balance will be paid when the second machine is installed and the software contract is completed.

Mr. ANDREWS. Tell us what it does and how you have achieved a saving.

Mr. HARRISON. About 5 years ago it came to our attention that a large percentage of the copy we were getting for production was coming from computers in capital letters, wide spacing, very hard to read.

Mr. ANDREWS. From executive agencies?

Mr. Harrisox. Yes. At that time I think there were about 1,600 computers in the Government and these computers were loaded with material being used for many things. When they wanted it printed, the cost of composition was so high that the Joint Committee on Printing directed us to more in the direction of finding a machine that would take this tape from the computer and rather than run it through the rapid printer at the end of the computer the department was to give us a tape which we could then program and compose into readable graphic arts type from this tape. A committee was formed under the chairmanship of the staff director of the Joint Committee on Printing which reviewed this program. I think about 30 percent of our copy was coming to us as computer printout at that time. We worked up a specification that would allow us to take the tape, program it through our computers, and put the tape on the Linotron. Then at a very rapid speed it would give us a page of composition at a time on film or hard copy ready to go to be plated and printed in beautiful type.

Mr. ANDREWS. Was this machine tailor made for the Government Printing Office, or was it on the market?

Mr. HARRISON. It was not on the market. It has been said it was the greatest invention since Gutenberg invented movable type. Mergenthaler got the contract and they sublet the hardware to CBS. They built the machine and it was dedicated last October 2. I am sorry you gentlemen were not able to be there because it was a very impressive ceremony. I might mention October 2 was the 90th birthday of Senator Hayden, the chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing. Ile pressed the starting button and before he could turn around the machine had spit out a happy birthday greeting to him. This machine started its first job on October 2 and in one 8-hour day we composed 1,600 pages. This was a brand new tested machine that in less than 30 workdays delivered a total of 32,701 pages on film ready for one of the printing plants which got the contracts to plate and print. This was a cross-reference index for the military catalog. We reduced the bulk of the publication about 60 percent. This also brings about a tremendous saving in time and paper and shipping. Of course, it is shipped all over the world and 60 percent less bulk is a big saving.

Mr. ANDREWS. Can you use this machine for all types of work or just for computer-type work?

« PreviousContinue »