Final FAR Regulation Allowing Agencies to Buy Printing 
Stalled--or Dead?

April 15, 2003

The Proposed new FAR section allowing Federal Agencies to buy their own printing (avoiding GPO) was published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2002.  The next step was to receive public comment.  That was done for 30 days, through December 13, 2002.  Typically, if the Comments suggest appropriate changes, the changes are made.  Our sources say some revisions were made in this case.  But the Final Regulation was never issued--and it has been four months since the Comment Period ended.

What does the delay mean?  It could indicate that the idea of reforming the Government printing production and procurement is stalled because more important issues demanded attention. 

Or it could mean that the proposed regulation that would have allowed Agencies to buy their own printing, avoiding GPO, has died because:
it conflicted with 44 U.S.C. 501; and/or because there is a new Public Printer (a long-time Republican appointed by President Bush); and/or because many Agencies said they would use GPO even if it was optional; and/or because it was a hot potato; and/or for any number of other reasons.

Sources at OMB say emphatically that the new FAR section, created in response to a very public request/directive from OMB Director Mitch Daniels, is not dead, just delayed.

The bottom line is that there is (today) no new Government Printing Regulation, and no challenge to GPO and the Title 44 mandate that Agencies must use GPO to acquire traditional and digital printing.

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