Tapella Resigns from GPO, Boarman Takes Over

Bob Tapella, Public Printer of the United States, announced his resignation as head of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) last week. Tapella, the 25th Public Printer, has overseen the 150-year-old agency for the last three years.

“I resigned my commission at the request of the White House last Tuesday to allow the President to make a recess appointment,” wrote Tapella, in a farewell letter received Wednesday by IPG. He went on to list many of his accomplishments while at the reigns, including turning around GPO’s financial situation.

Tapella has been replaced by William J. Boarman, who was serving as president of the Printing, Publishing & Media Workers Sector of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). President Barack Obama’s intention to appoint Boarman was announced by the White House on December 30.

Boarman has been associated with the printing industry, its labor relations and personnel management for over 40 years, starting with his four-year apprenticeship at McArdle Printing in Washington, DC. In 1974, Boarman accepted an appointment as Printer to GPO. In 1977, he took a leave of absence from GPO to serve in various elected posts within the International Typographical Union, which merged with CWA in 1987.

During Tapella’s time as Public Printer, the GPO transitioned from a survival mode to the thriving operation it is today. Tapella helped turn GPO’s financial situation from years of significant losses into the positive net operating income the agency enjoys today. Fiscal year 2010 marked the seventh consecutive year of positive results.

The agency also launched GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) during Tapella’s tenure, giving the American people a one-stop site to authentic, published government information.

“It has been a pleasure serving both President Obama and President Bush during the last eight years at GPO,” says Tapella. “I want to thank the hard-working men and women of GPO who have transformed an agency that opened in 1861 into a 21st century printing, digital media, secure credentialing and ISO 9001 premiere manufacturing organization. I believe the successful launch of FDsys positions GPO to meet the challenges of the Digital Age.”