The U.S. Government Printing Office, a stalwart disciple of print, is following the increasing trend of going digital. The agency responsible for printing and electronically disseminating the government’s vast trove of rules, laws and regulations is trying to cut back on labor costs. Like other companies in the publishing sector, the GPO is looking to shift more toward the work ethic and style of a 21st century-style publishing house. GPO officials recently told employees that they will extend voluntary buyouts and early retirement incentives to those willing to separate from the agency. Currently, the GPO has a workforce of about 1,850 employees. GPO officials are aiming to cut approximately 5 percent of the workforce — a reduction of nearly 100 positions. If they receive authority from Congress and the Office of Personnel Management to extend the buyout offers, eligible employees could receive a lump-sum payment of up to $25,000. The amount received is dependent on a formula, which was not expounded upon in a GPO news release revealing the buyout proposal. The agency wants to achieve the personnel reduction by the end of the first quarter of FY 2015. Four years ago, GPO officials offered a round of buyouts, which amounted to an annual savings of about $24 million. The agency has cut its workforce by 70 percent since 1980. The GPO was able to do so because of technological innovations in the publishing field, according to a statement from officials. “Unlike most Federal agencies, GPO operates like a business, covering most of its costs through the income we earn for the provision of information products and services,” said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “As the Government’s publisher, we’re committed to ensuring that our staffing and other requirements match our customers’ needs in this digital age.”

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