Changing GPO’s Name Isn't High on the Congressional Agenda

GPO prints the annual budget. GPO prints the annual budget. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The venerable Government Printing Office, which just won rave reviews in an agency customer satisfaction survey, has been pressing Congress to modernize its name for the digital age, but so far has had little luck.

A bill (S. 1947) introduced in January by Sen. Amy Klochubar, D-Minn., would do nothing more controversial than change the agency’s name to the Government Publishing Office, even preserving the 154-year-old GPO’s acronym. But it has not rocketed up the agenda of an election-year-minded, polarized Congress.

Despite clearing the Senate Rules and Administration Committee in April, the measure has attracted only one co-sponsor (Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.). No companion bill has emerged in the House.

“GPO’s services have evolved over time and are continuing to trend to digital,” Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks said in April in thanking the Senate panel for acting. “We need to update our name to accurately reflect our broad range of services.”

The bill would also change the titles of the public printer and deputy public printer to “director” and “deputy director,” respectively, while replacing certain gender-specific terms in current law such as “he” and “his” with gender-neutral ones.

Rules Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, said, “Updating the name of the Government Printing Office to the Government Publishing Office is the next logical step in this agency’s long and proud service to our country.” His release noted that GPO had just reached a milestone of 1 billion electronic document retrievals, and that GPO offers free public access to nearly 1 million searchable titles, among them the Warren Commission Report on President Kennedy's assassination.

But Government Executive inquiries to Senate and House sources on the bill’s prospects suggest a consensus that it is “back-burnered.” No one would venture a guess on when action is likely.

The House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over GPO, “will consider the Senate bill, if and when the bill is sent to the House and referred” to that committee, said Erin Sayago, a spokeswoman for panel Chairwoman Candice Miller, R-Mich.

None of this should suggest that GPO is unpopular. On June 5, the agency released results of a survey of 500 users of GPO products, services and programs from other agencies. Among its findings:

  • 91 percent of customers are satisfied with overall service from their primary GPO location;
  • 90 percent of customers are likely to recommend GPO to a colleague;
  • 90 percent of customers say they do not believe they can beat or match GPO pricing.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.