Digital Printing in Government

Government in-plant managers from the CIA, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury and many other agencies met recently in Washington, D.C., to attend the second annual Digital Printing in Government Forum. The one-day event was organized by INTERQUEST, a research and consulting firm serving the digital printing and publishing industry.

The main draw was new Public Printer Robert Tapella, who gave the keynote address to about 120 document professionals from more than 30 agencies. Tapella, who heads the Government Printing Office, provided an update of GPO’s document production and distribution strategy. He noted that GPO’s middle name often gets in the way of people’s understanding of GPO’s mission: Keeping people informed.

He described GPO’s four main roles. GPO plays an integral part in the legislative process (printing the Congressional Record, bills, reports); GPO plays a role in national security (printing passports); GPO helps all federal agencies meet their printing and communications needs; and GPO enables federal depository libraries to offer access to the documents of our democracy.

Tapella discussed the status of FDSys, GPO’s new digital system to automate the collection and dissemination of electronic information from all three branches. It will debut this year. (See IPG’s exclusive interview with Tapella in the features section of this site.)

Gilles Biscos, president of INTERQUEST, discussed key market trends. Though the move toward transpromo printing has caused some financial firms and banks to bring printing back in-house, outsourcing is still occurring, he said. Book printing is experiencing double digit growth. In the future, ink-jet will compete head on with electrophotography, putting even more pressure on offset.

“Offset is disappearing in the government,” added Toby Cobrin, INTERQUEST’s EDP director.

Michael Bearden, chief of the Data Services Division for the Defense Intelligence Agency, discussed his operation’s move into digital printing, necessitated by the demand for quicker turnaround, lower quantities and the use of digital files. Though 70 percent of his in-plant’s volume is still offset, it has added a Kodak NexPress 2100, two Kodak 9110s and two Xerox 6060s.

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.

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