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Government Printers Wrap up Virginia Beach Conference

Though the National Government Publishing Association conference got off to an awkward start, U.S. Public Printer William Boarman turned things completely around once he took the stage.

September 21, 2011 By Bob Neubauer
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When the National Government Publishing Association (NGPA) convened in Virginia Beach recently, long-time attendees like Andy Sherman, of the Government Printing Office, and Susie Barthel, of Louisiana's Office of State Printing, were joined by a number of first-time attendees, such as Timothy Smith, of the State of Wisconsin, and Mike Lincoln, of Colorado Central Services. Despite a low turnout overall, attendees were reportedly very enthusiastic and shared lots of information. 

Though the event got off to an awkward start, things turned completely around after the keynote speech. After being welcomed by NGPA President Lise Melton, of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, attendees listened to an address by Virginia Beach Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen. Though he was supposed to simply welcome the group to his city, in an unexpected and ironic twist, Hansen talked about how the budget for printing had been cut in Virginia Beach due to declining demand, resulting in cuts to the printing staff—not exactly a strong message to kick off an in-plant printers' conference.

Fortunately, things turned around quickly when U.S. Public Printer William J. Boarman took the stage for his keynote address, demonstrating why he is known as "the first printer." Boarman explained why many people make incorrect assumptions about the costs associated with in-plants. 

“I think that is a common misconception and a false positive by managers who get rid of print shops. They think that by moving a line item that is very visible, they will save money. Someone in city council can look at this and say, ‘There’s $1.5 million that we can save,’ but they don’t know how much they are going to save in the long run. 

"Often they lose track of the expense because it is broken out and into small numbers across multiple jobs and multiple vendors, and may take years before anyone realizes that the older way was the cheaper way to do it. To me this is false positive, and at the expense of some really good city, state and national workers.”

No word on Hansen's reaction to this communiqué.

Boarman went on to detail the ways that GPO services the government and the changes he is making there to increase efficiency. Employees and management are working together to achieve the same goals, he noted, which include providing more services while reducing costs. At the end of his talk, Boarman presented each attendee with a copy of GPO's book "Keeping America Informed: 150 Years of Service to the Nation."



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