As the U.S. government’s primary resource for producing official information for 150 years, the Government Printing Office has had to adapt to changing technology and a demand to do more with less in the current economic climate.

In fact, the federal agency has seen its workforce diminish over the years by nearly 75 percent, said Public Printer Bill Boarman as a recent guest on NBC Channel 4’s Viewpoint program (see video). The office currently employs 2,200 federal workers and Boarman said that number will likely fall again in the coming months and years.

“We do more now and probably two-thirds cheaper,” said Boarman said during the interview with Anchor Jim Handly. “We have a highly trained, highly skilled workforce.”

Besides recently completing and presenting the first two volumes of print and online versions of President Obama’s public papers, the GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government.

Boarman also offered the following tidbits during his interview:

  • GPO employees have at times received information “as late as 1:30 a.m.” for processing before the next business day.
  • Boarman, who was appointed by President Obama for his current leadership role, worked as a printer for the GPO in the 1970s.
  • The GPO contracts out $500 million in work for other government agencies, which results in an estimated 70,000 American jobs.

The GPO publishes U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies. In addition to publication sales, GPO provides for permanent public access to federal government information at no charge through GPO’s Federal Digital System and through partnerships with approximately 1,220 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program.