GPO to Offer Buyouts/Early Outs This Fall

The Government Printing Office plans to offer buyouts and early retirement to employees in the first quarter of FY 2015 to help reduce the agency’s costs.

As the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) shifts toward publishing in digital formats and in response to the continuing decline of traditional printed products, the agency informed employees today of its plan to send a request to Congress and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for authority to offer buyouts and early outs to the agency’s 1,850 employees.

GPO’s goal is to achieve a personnel reduction of 100 positions or 5% of its workforce. Employees can be offered lump-sum payments up to $25,000 as an incentive to voluntarily separate from the agency. The actual amount of the payout is based on a formula.

GPO will use current funds to conduct this program, which needs to be concluded by the end of the first quarter of FY 2015 to achieve the savings for the coming year. GPO management believes these reductions in personnel can be achieved without compromising the agency’s ability to carry out mission critical operations, including publishing support for Congress and Federal agencies and providing public access to Government information.

“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.”

GPO successfully conducted a buyout/early out four years ago in 2011 that resulted in annual savings of about $24 million. Since 1980, GPO has reduced its workforce by 70% as the result of using new technologies, a rate of change unparalleled elsewhere among other Legislative Branch agencies, generating significant savings for the taxpayer.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.