Government Printing Office: Wikis


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Government Printing Office
Official seal
Agency overview
Formed March 4, 1861
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters 732 North Capitol St. NW
Washington, D.C.
Agency executive Robert C. Tapella, Public Printer
Parent agency United States Congress Joint Committee on Printing

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office prints and provides access to documents produced by and for all three branches of the federal government, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, the Executive Office of the President, executive departments, and independent agencies.

The primary mission of GPO is to make government publications widely available, by gathering, cataloging, providing, and preserving published information in all forms. GPO provides information to the public through GPO Access, which contains searchable databases of government information, and through the Federal Depository Library Program, which is a partnership with hundreds of libraries throughout the country.



GPO began operations in accordance with Congressional Joint Resolution 25 of June 23, 1860. The activities of GPO are defined in the public printing and documents chapters of Title 44 of the United States Code. The Public Printer, who serves as the head of GPO, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Public Printer selects a Superintendent of Documents.

Superintendent of Documents

U.S. Government Printing Office

The Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) is in charge of the dissemination of information at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The Superintendent is appointed by the Public Printer, who serves as the head of GPO. It is the Superintendent's responsibility to provide public access to Government information published by the United States Congress, Federal agencies and the United States federal courts. This is accomplished through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), the Cataloging and Indexing Program and the Publication Sales Program, as well as operation of the Federal Citizen Information Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Adelaide Hasse was the founder of the Superintendent of Documents classification system.[1]

Federal Depository Library Program

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by the United States Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the federal government. The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries in the U.S. and its territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance.

Nearly 1,250 depository libraries contain informations on careers, business opportunities, consumer information, health and nutrition, legal and regulatory information, demographics, and numerous other subjects.

The Depository Library Council (DLC) to the Public Printer was established in 1972 to provide advice on policy matters relating to the FDLP. The primary focus on the DLC's work is to advise the Public Printer, the Superintendent of Documents, and appropriate members of GPO staff on practical options for the efficient management and operation of the FDLP.

The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 United States Code, 1901-1616.[2]

Official journals of government

GPO now contracts out much of the federal government's printing but prints the official journals of government in-house, including:


The new e-passport produced by GPO

GPO has been producing U.S. passports since the 1920s. The United States Department of State began issuing e-passports in 2006. The e-Passport includes an electronic chip embedded in the cover that contains the same information that is printed in the passport: name, date of birth, gender, place of birth, dates of passport issuance and expiration, passport number and photo image of the traveler. The e-passport contains security features to prevent the chips from being read, cloned or changed. GPO produces the blank e-Passport, while the Department of State receives and processes applications and issues individual passports.[3][4][5][6]

GPO ceased production of legacy passports in May 2007, shifting production entirely to e-passports. In 2007, GPO produced approximately 20 million passports.[7][8] GPO produced a record 24 million blank passports in FY 2008. All manufacturing is done at GPO’s main plant in Washington, D.C., and at a secure production facility in Stennis, Mississippi.[9][10]

Trusted Traveler Program card

The new Trusted Traveler Program card produced by GPO.

GPO designs, prints, encodes and personalizes Trusted Traveler Program cards (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST) for the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These cards enable the bearer faster service in crossing America’s northern and southern borders.

GPO's Federal Digital System

The Federal Digital System (FDsys) is a site launched in 2009 that replaced GPOAccess.

GPO's Style Manual

GPO publishes the United States Style Manual.[11] Among the venerable series are Foreign Relations of the United States for the State Dept. since 1861, Statistical Abstract of the United States for the Census Bureau since 1878 and Public Papers of the President covering the administrations of Presidents Herbert Hoover onward except Franklin D. Roosevelt (whose papers were privately printed).

Public Printers of the United States

By law, the Public Printer heads GPO. The position of Public Printer traces its roots back to Benjamin Franklin and the period before the American Revolution, when he served as "publick printer," whose job was to produce official government documents for Pennsylvania and other colonies.

Public Printers:

  1. Almon M. Clapp (1876-1877)
  2. John D. Defrees (1877-1882)
  3. Sterling P. Rounds (1882-1886)
  4. Thomas E. Benedict (1886-1889)
  5. Frank W. Palmer (1889-1894)
  6. Thomas E. Benedict (1894-1897)
  7. Frank W. Palmer (1897-1905), O.J. Ricketts (Acting, 1905-1905)
  8. Charles A. Stillings (1905-1908), William S. Rossiter (Acting, 1908-1908), Capt. Henry T. Brian (Acting, 1908-1908)
  9. John S. Leech (1908-1908)
  10. Samuel B. Donnelly (1908-1913)
  11. Cornelius Ford (1913-1921)
  12. George H. Carter (1921-1934)
  13. Augustus E. Giegengack (1934-1948), John J. Deviny (Acting, 1948-1948)
  14. John J. Deviny (1948-1953), Phillip L. Cole (Acting, 1953-1953)
  15. Raymond Blattenberger (1953-1961), John M. Wilson (Acting, 1961-1961), Felix E. Cristofane (Acting, 1961-1961)
  16. James L. Harrison (1961-1970)
  17. Adolphus N. Spence (1970-1972), Harry J. Humphrey (Acting, 1972-1973), L.T. Golden (Acting Deputy, 1973-1973)
  18. Thomas F. McCormick (1973-1977)
  19. John J. Boyle (1977-1980), Samuel Saylor (Acting, 1980-1981)
  20. Danford L. Sawyer, Jr. (1981-1984), William J. Barrett (Acting, 1984-1984)
  21. Ralph E. Kennickell, Jr. (1984-1989)
  22. Robert Houk (1990-1993),[12] Michael F. DiMario (Acting, 1993-1993)
  23. Michael F. DiMario (1993[13]-2002)
  24. Bruce James (2002-2007),[14] William H. Turri (Acting, 2007-2007)
  25. Robert C. Tapella (2007-present)[15]

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is responsible for the printing of United States currency.


Notable GPO publications

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ GPO's E-Passport Factsheet
  4. ^ Bill Gertz, GPO profits go to bonuses and trips, Washington Times, March 27, 2008
  5. ^ Bill Gertz, Outsourced passport work scrutinized, Washington Times, March 26, 2008
  6. ^ Confronting Digital Age Head-On, Washington Post, March 13, 2006
  7. ^ GPO Press Release on GPO website, July 2007
  8. ^ Jill R. Aitoro Article 'misstated' facts of offshoring e-passport production, Government Executive, March 27, 2008
  9. ^ Government Executive, March 27, 2008
  10. ^ Bill Gertz, GPO's backup plant on storm-prone Gulf, Washington Times, March 28, 2008
  11. ^ "GPO Style Manual". United States Government Printing Office. April 16, 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

Category:United States


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