GAO Finds Printing Office in Need of Staffing Plan

Posted November 4, 2003 at 4:15pm

The Government Printing Office will need to create a strategic plan to handle its staffing needs in future years, according to a recent report issued by the General Accounting Office.

The Oct. 20 report — the first of several GAO will issue on GPO’s management practices — recommends that the printing office establish a “strategic workforce planning process” to “ensure that GPO’s workforce has the correct mix of skills and competencies for the future.”

The GAO reports, requested by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch, will be used by GPO officials as they prepare a strategic plan to overhaul the agency’s business structure, a goal set forth by Public Printer Bruce James shortly after taking the agency’s helm earlier this year.

Frank Partlow, GPO’s chief of staff, noted that the printing office is in the initial stages of creating its strategic plan, conducting a “fact-finding” mission to address not only the GPO’s concerns, but also those of executive branch agencies and departments, vendors, and Congress while it awaits the additional GAO reports, expected sometime in early 2004.

“We’re not standing still, we’re doing as much fact-finding as we can,” Partlow said, noting that GPO expects to create a workforce plan similar to GAO’s recommendations. “But the strategic plan, the overall agency strategic plan upon which the human capital strategic plan depends, is going to have to wait until we get data from a variety of sources.”

In its initial report, “Advancing GPO’s Transformation Effort through Strategic Human Capital Management,” GAO generally praised the printing office’s management of its employees, noting: “GPO has taken several steps that recognize the important role strategic human capital management plays in its transformation.”

The report cites the creation of a chief human capital officer, as well as expanded opportunities for training and improved recruitment strategies.