Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (10/16/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Transfer of Functions of the Joint Committee on

Printing

Title II: Government Publications Office

Title III: Government Publications Office; Publications

Production and Production Procurement Services

Title IV: Office of Government Publications Access Programs

Title V: Administrative and Savings Provisions

Wendell H. Ford Government Publications Reform Act of 1998 - Title I: Transfer of Functions of the Joint Committee on Printing - Repeals provisions regarding the Joint Committee on Printing.

Title II: Government Publications Office - Replaces provisions regarding the Government Printing Office (GPO) with those establishing a Government Publications Office, to be headed by an Administrator appointed by the President.

Authorizes the Administrator to: (1) remedy neglect, delay, duplication, or waste in the production or procurement of printing, binding, and blank-book work and dissemination of the Government's publications; and (2) enhance the dissemination of, and maintenance of permanent public access to, such publications.

Sets forth provisions regarding Publications Office employee pay.

Incorporates provisions similar to existing GPO provisions regarding: (1) night work; (2) disbursing officers; (3) a revolving fund for operations; (4) payments for printing, supplies, and production services; (5) machinery or supplies from other Government agencies; (6) supplies furnished to other agencies; (7) limitations on branch offices; (8) details of employees; and (9) special policemen.

Sets forth Publication Office production and procurement authority. Authorizes the Administrator to delegate production or procurement authority to other agencies seeking authority for the procurement of services if: (1) the Publication Office is not able to execute such authority; or (2) it may be more economical or in the better interest of Government for that authority to be executed elsewhere.

Requires Publication Office regulations to: (1) prohibit an agency from contracting for production or procurement of services with another agency or a private sector commercial source unless such entity has been certified by the Administrator as having met this title's requirements; and (2) require the Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs (established by this Act) to be a signatory to the procurement contract.

Abolishes GPO and transfers GPO functions and employees to the Publications Office . Reestablishes GPO as the Publications Office, an independent Federal entity, independent of executive agencies.

Title III: Government Publications Office; Publications Production and Production Procurement Services - Replaces provisions regarding production and procurement of printing and binding with those regarding Publications Office production and procurement services.

Authorizes the Publications Office to produce or procure the production of Government publications, including those created for or transmitted through an electronic communications system, as requisitioned by the Congress, Federal agencies and the Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs. Makes the Publications Office the only authorized Federal agency to provide printing, binding, and blank-book work for the Congress, the Executive Office of the President, the judiciary (other than the Supreme Court), and every other executive department and independent establishment of the Government, except: (1) those publications created only for dissemination through an electronic communications system, provided certain requirements of this Act are met; (2) individual production orders by the executive branch costing no more than $1,000, subject to certain conditions; (3) production or procurement of printing, binding, and blank-book for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency; and (4) the production or procurement of printing, binding, and blank-book work for the appellate slip opinions of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and Circuit Court and the Bankruptcy Noticing Center, subject to certain requirements.

Prohibits funds from being obligated or expended by any executive branch entity for the procurement of any printing related to the production of Government publications unless such procurement is by or through the Publications Office.

Authorizes executive or judicial branch agencies to produce or procure printing, binding, and blank-book work under delegation of authority from the Administrator, subject to certain requirements.

Bars agencies from participating in public or private partnerships to produce Government publications or from entering into contractual arrangements for the production or procurement of printing, binding, and blank-book work or dissemination of Government publications unless such action complies with the Federal Publications Dissemination Act of 1998 (title IV of this Act) and is approved in advance by the Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs.

Provides for the appointment of the Superintendent of Government Publications Production and Procurement Services and the Deputy Superintendent of Government Publications Production and Procurement Services.

Incorporates provisions similar to those under existing law regarding: (1) printing in veterans' hospitals; (2) time for printing documents which contain illustrations or maps; and (3) deadlines for acting upon orders for printing and publications production services.

Requires the submission of annual agency plans on the production or procurement of printing, binding, and blank-book work, and the dissemination and accessibility of Government publications. Directs agencies to submit plans to be implemented for the five years following the effective date of this title that: (1) reduce the publications production capacity of the agency; (2) set dates on which incremental stages of the reduction will be accomplished; and (3) provide for agency publications production to be performed by non-Federal entities pursuant to contracts.

(Sec. 302) Replaces provisions regarding congressional printing and binding with those regarding production and procurement of publications services by the Congress and legislative agencies.

Revises provisions regarding the "usual number" of bills, resolutions, documents, and reports printed for binding and distribution to require such number to be jointly established at the beginning of each Congress by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Committee on Oversight (committees). (Current law defines "usual number" as 1,682 copies of documents and reports, with further limitations on the number distributed to specified entities.) Sets forth distribution provisions similar to those under existing law.

Removes existing limitations on the number of bills and resolutions printed. Requires committee reports to be produced by requisition on order of the originating committee.

Directs the committees, at the beginning of each Congress, to determine the style, form, and manner of printing for congressional publications.

Revises provisions regarding extra copies to limit each House to 300 extra copies provided by simple resolution.

Limits reprints of a pending bill, resolution, or public law, or a report from a congressional committee or commission on pending legislation to 300 copies (currently, 1,000). Removes a condition that such reprints be limited to documents not exceeding 50 pages.

Incorporates provisions similar to those under existing law for: (1) the style and form of bills and resolutions; (2) binding sets of bills and resolutions for the Congress, but limits the Senate to one (currently, two) sets; (3) printing of public and private laws and treaties; (4) copies of Acts furnished to the Superintendent of Government Publications Production and Procurement Services (currently, the Public Printer); (5) printing Acts, joint resolutions, and treaties; (6) printing documents in two or more editions; (7) printing of documents not provided by law; (8) charging of the appropriation for printing a congressional document or report; (9) lapse of authority to print; (10) statements of appropriations; (11) indexing and binding of committee reports; (12) distribution and references in the margins of the U.S. Statutes at Large; (13) stationery and blank books for the Congress; and (14) binding at the expense of Members of Congress.

Removes limitations on the number of copies of Journals of the Houses of Congress to be printed and requires the committees to establish such number at the beginning of each Congress. Revises distribution requirements as well.

Revises requirements regarding printing and distribution of the series of publications ordered to be printed by the Congress and of the Congressional Directory. Requires the Directory to be accessible to the public through an electronic on-line service.

Revises numerical limitations on the printing of memorial addresses.

Bars congressional committees from procuring the printing of more than 300 (currently, 1,000) copies of a hearing or other germane document, except by simple, concurrent, or joint resolution.

Authorizes Senators and Representatives to request to receive copies of the U.S. Statutes at Large.

Requires the committees to determine the quantity and distribution of documents to the Members, committees, and offices of their respective Houses.

Revises requirements for franks and envelopes for Members of Congress. Requires the committees to establish rules governing the style, content, quantity, printing, distribution, and method of payment for franks and envelopes used for mailing public documents.

Directs the committees to determine: (1) the mechanisms for the distribution of congressional documents to the Members of Congress; and (2) the disposition of the inventory of Government publications stored at the Capitol.

Authorizes appropriations for congressional printing and binding.

Requires the General Accounting Office to report to the committees on the feasibility of legislative branch agencies procuring printing and publications services directly from nongovernmental sources under a delegation of authority from the Administrator if such agencies certify to the Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs and the Superintendent of Government Publications Production and Procurement Services full compliance with specified requirements of this Act.

Directs the Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs to report to the committees recommendations on the feasibility of producing, disseminating, and maintaining permanent public access to the congressional serial sets as publications created for or transmitted through an electronic communications system.

(Sec. 303) Revises provisions regarding the Congressional Record to replace authorities of the Joint Committee on Printing and the Public Printer with those of the committees and, in certain cases, with those of the Superintendent of Government Publications Production and Procurement Services.

Revises provisions regarding distribution of copies of the Record and extracts for Members of Congress.

(Sec. 304) Requires the committees to establish the annual number of reports of the departments to the Congress to be printed for each House. (Current law requires 1,000 to be printed for the Senate and 2,000 for the House.)

(Sec. 305) Repeals provisions regarding the printing of particular Government publications.

(Sec. 307) Revises provisions regarding the printing and distribution of Supreme Court reports.

(Sec. 308) Amends various laws to repeal certain provisions which allow for printing and binding to be carried out without regard to specified laws, including provisions amended by this Act.

(Sec. 309) Repeals provisions of law providing for distribution of supplements of the U.S. Code and District of Columbia Code of Laws to Members of Congress.

Revises requirements regarding the publication of an edition of the U.S. Constitution by the Librarian of Congress to require the Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to have prepared an annotated edition of the Constitution every ten years, cumulative supplements every two years in the interim period between decennial editions, including cumulative analysis of Supreme Court decisions, and a regularly-updated electronic version.

Repeals provisions regarding the printing and binding of the official papers relating to U.S. territories.

Title IV: Office of Government Publications Access Programs - Federal Publications Dissemination Act of 1998 - Replaces provisions regarding public printing and the depository library program with those regarding Federal publications access programs.

Provides for the appointment of a Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs (Superintendent) and a Deputy Superintendent of Government Publications Access Programs.

Establishes an account within the Revolving Fund of the Publications Office for the operation of the Federal Publications Access Programs.

Authorizes appropriations for the Programs.

Requires the Superintendent to: (1) provide selection, cataloging, classification, locator, and indexing services for all Government publications from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; (2) make available a comprehensive and timely catalog, locator, and current, categorized list of Government publications; and (3) produce a consolidated index of congressional documents.

Directs executive agency heads, the Administrative Office of the Courts, on behalf of the judicial branch, and the committees, for each House of Congress, to ensure that all Government publications produced or procured for production are made available to the Superintendent for dissemination through the Programs.

Requires agencies to notify the Superintendent of intent to produce or procure, substantially modify, or terminate the production of a Government publication or to eliminate printed copies and provide only electronic access.

Sets forth notification and other requirements for agencies entering into contracts for the production or procurement of Government publications.

Requires agencies to provide permanent public access to Government publications created for or transmitted through an electronic communications system until such a system for permanent public access is established by the Superintendent.

Sets forth procedures to be followed in cases of executive agency noncompliance with access requirements, including prohibitions on contracting for production or procurement of publications during periods of noncompliance.

Sets forth access, compliance, and enforcement provisions with respect to the legislative and judicial branches as well.

Requires the Superintendent to establish a system of permanent public access to Government publications, including for those created for or transmitted through an electronic communications system.

Sets forth provisions regarding the designation and responsibilities of access libraries.

Requires the Superintendent to establish a permanent Federal Publications Access Library Council to advise on: (1) appropriate items and preferred formats for inclusion in the Programs; (2) Government publications that are not included and that are recommended for inclusion; and (3) other policy matters.

Transfers functions of the Superintendent of Documents to the Superintendent.

(Sec. 403) Replaces provisions regarding the distribution and sale of public documents with those providing for the distribution and sale of Government publications by the Superintendent.

Incorporates provisions similar to those under existing law for: (1) publications for public distribution and the sale of Government publications; (2) additional copies for sale; (3) reproduction of publications required for sale; (4) printing and sale of blank forms; (5) publications for use of the Superintendent (currently, the Public Printer); and (6) exchange of Government publications by heads of agencies.

Requires the Superintendent to operate the sales program on a self-sustaining basis and to establish prices to cover costs of procurement or production and dissemination and other appropriate costs.

Revises provisions regarding publications for the National Archives and Records Administration, the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, and the Library of Congress. Requires payment by the Library of Congress and CRS for Government publications to be made from funds appropriated to such agencies and to be at the incremental cost of printing.

Repeals provisions that authorize fees to be charged for use of the electronic directory of Federal electronic information.

Title V: Administrative and Savings Provisions - Continues existing employment terms of GPO employees until modified or terminated in accordance with law, including the provisions of this Act.

(Sec. 502) Provides that this Act shall not affect any existing proceedings or suits.

(Sec. 506) Amends various laws to transfer functions of the Joint Committee on Printing to other entities.