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The United States Government Publishing Office (USGPO or GPO; formerly the United States Government Printing Office) is an agency of the
legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, rules, and Norm (sociology) ...
of the
United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Ameri ...
. The office produces and distributes information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
, the
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
, the
Executive Office of the President Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief e ...
, executive departments, and
independent agencies A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. In some cases it is the technical term used for a traditional nonprofit ch ...
. An
act of Congress An Act of Congress is a statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of me ...
changed the office's name to its current form in 2014.


History

The Government Printing Office was created by congressional joint resolution () on June 23, 1860. It began operations March 4, 1861, with 350 employees and reached a peak employment of 8,500 in 1972. The agency began transformation to computer technology in the 1980s; along with the gradual replacement of paper with electronic document distribution, this has led to a steady decline in the number of staff at the agency. For its entire history, the GPO has occupied the corner of North Capitol Street NW and H Street NW in the District of Columbia. The large red brick building that houses the GPO was erected in 1903 and is unusual in being one of the few large, red brick government structures in a city where most government buildings are mostly marble and granite. (The Smithsonian Castle and the Pension Building, now the
National Building Museum The National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street NW in Washington, D.C. It is a museum of "architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning". It was created by an act of Congress in 1980, and is a private Non-profit orga ...

National Building Museum
, are other exceptions.) An additional structure was attached to its north in later years. The activities of the GPO are defined in the public printing and documents chapters of
Title 44 of the United States CodeTitle 44 of the United States Code outlines the role of public printing and documents in the United States Code The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. ...
. The Director (formerly the
Public Printer The Public Printer of the United States was the head of the United States Government Publishing Office The United States Government Publishing Office (USGPO or GPO; formerly the United States Government Printing Office) is an agency of the leg ...
), who serves as the head of the GPO, is appointed by the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
with the
advice and consent Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bill Bill(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Banknote A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type o ...
of the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. The Director selects a Superintendent of Documents. The Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) is in charge of the dissemination of information at the GPO. This is accomplished through the
Federal Depository Library Program The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is a government program created to make Federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government publications available to the public at no cost. As of April 2021, there are 1,114 depository li ...
(FDLP), the Cataloging and Indexing Program and the Publication Sales Program, as well as operation of the
Federal Citizen Information Center USAGov, formerly the Federal Citizen Information Center and Federal Consumer Information Center (FCIC), is a department in the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
in
Pueblo, Colorado The City of Pueblo () is the List of municipalities in Colorado#Home rule municipality, home rule municipality that is the county seat and the List of municipalities in Colorado, most populous municipality of Pueblo County, Colorado, Pueblo Co ...
.
Adelaide Hasse Adelaide Rosalie Hasse (September 13, 1868 – July 28, 1953) is listed as one of the "100 most important leaders we had in the 20th century" in the December 1999 edition of ''American Libraries ''American Libraries'' is the flagship magazine of t ...
was the founder of the Superintendent of Documents classification system. The GPO first used 100 percent recycled paper for the ''
Congressional Record thumbnail, A page from the February 12, 1999, edition of the ''Congressional Record'', published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: . The ''Congressional Record'' is the official record of the proce ...
'' and ''
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...
'' from 1991 to 1997, under Public Printers Robert Houk and Michael DiMario. The GPO resumed using recycled paper in 2009. In March 2011, the GPO issued a new illustrated official history covering the agency's 150 years of "Keeping America Informed". With demand for print publications falling and a move underway to digital document production and preservation, the name of the GPO was officially changed to "Government Publishing Office" in a provision of an omnibus government funding bill passed by Congress in December 2014. Following signature of this legislation by President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government ...

Barack Obama
, the name change took place on December 17, 2014. File:Government Printing Office, restaurant - Washington, D.C..jpg, Government Printing Office, the restaurant in 1922 File:Machine shop in the Government Printing Office.jpg, Machine shop in the Government Printing Office File:Printing unemployment census questionnaires. Washington, D.C., Oct. 7. Scene at the Government Printing Office where 3,000,000 unemployment census questionnaires are being printed daily. LCCN2016872423.jpg, Scene at the Government Printing Office where 3,000,000 unemployment census questionnaires are being printed daily in 1937 File:Ready for postman. Washington, D.C., Oct. 7. After they are printed and folded for mailing at the Government Printing Office, the unemployment census questionaires are dumped into a mail LCCN2016878021.jpg, The mailroom in 1937 File:Unemployment census blanks prepared for mailing. Washington, D.C., Oct. 7. As rapidly as the presses in the Government Printing Office print the unemployment census blanks, workers trim and LCCN2016872425.jpg, As rapidly as the presses in the Government Printing Office print the unemployment census blanks, workers trim and mail.


Public Printers of the United States

By law, the Public Printer heads the 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. When the agency was renamed in December 2014 the title "Public Printer" was also changed to "Director". Davita Vance-Cooks was therefore the first "Director" of the GPO. ''Public Printers'': # Almon M. Clapp (1876–1877) # (1877–1882) # Sterling P. Rounds (1882–1886) # Thomas E. Benedict (1886–1889) # Frank W. Palmer (1889–1894) # Thomas E. Benedict (1894–1897) # Frank W. Palmer (1897–1905), O.J. Ricketts (Acting, 1905–1905) # Charles A. Stillings (1905–1908), William S. Rossiter (Acting, 1908–1908), Capt. Henry T. Brian (Acting, 1908–1908) # John S. Leech (1908–1908) # Samuel B. Donnelly (1908–1913) # Cornelius Ford (1913–1921) # George H. Carter (1921–1934) # Augustus E. Giegengack (1934–1948), John J. Deviny (Acting, 1948–1948) # John J. Deviny (1948–1953), Phillip L. Cole (Acting, 1953–1953) # Raymond Blattenberger (1953–1961), John M. Wilson (Acting, 1961–1961), Felix E. Cristofane (Acting, 1961–1961) # James L. Harrison (1961–1970) # Adolphus N. Spence (1970–1972), Harry J. Humphrey (Acting, 1972–1973), L.T. Golden (Acting Deputy, 1973–1973) # Thomas F. McCormick (1973–1977) # John J. Boyle (1977–1980), Samuel Saylor (Acting, 1980–1981) # Danford L. Sawyer, Jr. (1981–1984), William J. Barrett (Acting, 1984–1984) # Ralph E. Kennickell, Jr. (1984–1988), Joseph E. Jenifer (Acting, 1988–1990) # Robert Houk (1990–1993), Michael F. DiMario (Acting, 1993–1993) # Michael F. DiMario (1993–2002) # Bruce James (2002–2007), William H. Turri (Acting, 2007–2007) # Robert C. Tapella (2007–2010) # (2010–2012) # Davita Vance-Cooks (2013–2017) # (2019-present)


Published government documents


Official journals of government

The GPO contracts out much of the federal government's printing but prints the official journals of government in-house, including: * ''
Code of Federal Regulations The ''Code of Federal Regulations'' (''CFR'') is the codification of the general and permanent regulations published in the ''Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazett ...

Code of Federal Regulations
'' * Public and Private Laws * The ''
Congressional Record thumbnail, A page from the February 12, 1999, edition of the ''Congressional Record'', published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: . The ''Congressional Record'' is the official record of the proce ...
'' * The ''
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...
'', which is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations. * United States ''House Journal'' * ''
United States Senate Journal The United States ''Senate Journal'' is a written record of proceedings within the United States Senate in accordance with Article One of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution. According to the Library of ...
'' *
United States Code The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, U.S.C., or USC) is the official compilation and codification Codification may refer to: *Codification ( ...
*
United States Statutes at Large The ''United States Statutes at Large'', commonly referred to as the ''Statutes at Large'' and abbreviated Stat., are an official record of Acts of Congress An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by United States Congress, Congress. Acts can ...


Passports

GPO has been producing U.S. passports since the 1920s. The
United States Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the Federal government of the United States, executive branch of the fede ...
began issuing
e-passport A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport, ePassport, or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometrics, biometric information that can be used to authenticate ...
s 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 and place of birth, sex, dates of passport issuance and expiration, passport number, and photo of the bearer. GPO produces the blank e-Passport, while the
Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and ...
receives and processes applications and issues individual passports. GPO ceased production of legacy passports in May 2007, shifting production entirely to e-passports. In March 2008, the ''
Washington Times ''The Washington Times'' is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., that covers general interest topics with a particular emphasis on Politics of the United States, national politics. Its broadsheet daily edition is distribut ...
'' published a three-part story about the outsourcing of electronic passports to overseas companies, including one in Thailand that was subject to Chinese espionage.Bill Gertz
Outsourced passports netting govt. profits, risking national security
, ''Washington Times'', March 26, 2008


Trusted Traveler Program card

GPO designs, prints, encodes and personalizes Trusted Traveler Program cards (
NEXUS The Nexus is a Latin word for connection, usually where multiple elements meet. It may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Nexus, a fictional place in the TV series ' (broadcast 1998–2006) * Nexus, a large, insect-lik ...

NEXUS
, SENTRI and FAST) for the
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Amer ...
, Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


GPO publications

* '' Cumulative Copyright Catalogs'' * ''
Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion {{italic title Image:MSHWR1.jpg, Color plate of a wound patient from the ''MSHWR''. ''The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861–65'' (the ''MSHWR'') was a United States United States Government Publishing Office, Governm ...
'' (1870–88) * ''
Official Records of the American Civil War The ''Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion'', commonly known as the ''Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies'' or Official Records (OR or ORs), is the most extensive collection of American ...
'' * '' U.S. Congressional Serial Set'' * (Document (United States. War Dept.)) (Original from Harvard University) * * (Issue 33 of Publication (United States. Adjutant-General's Office. Military Information Division) Issue 143 of Document, United States War Dept Issue 33 of Publication, United States Adjutant-General's Office) * (Issue 143 of Document (United States. War Dept.)) (Original from the New York Public Library) *(Original from Harvard University) * (Original from the University of California) * * * * GPO publishes the ''U.S. Government Publishing Office
Style Manual A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting and design of documents. It is often called a style sheet, although that term also has other meanings. The standards can be applied either for general use, or b ...
''. Among the venerable series are ''
Foreign Relations of the United States The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washin ...
'' for the
Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and ...
(since 1861), and ''
Public Papers of the Presidents The ''Public Papers of the Presidents'' contain the papers and speeches of the Presidents of the United States The president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of t ...
'', covering the administrations of Presidents
Herbert Hoover Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American politician and engineer who served as the 31st president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...

Herbert Hoover
onward (except
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
, whose papers were privately printed). GPO published the '' Statistical Abstract of the United States'' for the
Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
from 1878 to 2012.


Internet access to GPO publications

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the GPO Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act, which enabled GPO to put Government information online for the first time. One year later, GPO began putting Government information online for the public to access. In 2009, GPO replaced its GPO Access website with the Federal Digital System, or FDsys. In 2016, GPO launched "govinfo", a mobile-friendly website for the public to access Government information. Govinfo makes available at no charge the
Congressional Record thumbnail, A page from the February 12, 1999, edition of the ''Congressional Record'', published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: . The ''Congressional Record'' is the official record of the proce ...
, the
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...
,
Public Papers of the Presidents The ''Public Papers of the Presidents'' contain the papers and speeches of the Presidents of the United States The president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of t ...
, the
U.S. Code The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, U.S.C., or USC) is the official compilation and codification Codification may refer to: *Codification ( ...
], and other materials.


GPO Police

Security for GPO facilities is provided by the Government Publishing Office Police. The force is part of the GPO's Physical Security Group and in 2003 had 53 officers. Officers are appointed under Title 44 United States Code, USC § 317 by the Public Printer (or their delegate). Their duty is to "protect persons and property in premises and adjacent areas occupied by or under the control of the Government Printing Office". Officers are authorized to bear and use arms in the performance of their duties, make arrests for violations of federal and state law (and that of Washington, D.C.), and enforce the regulations of the Public Printer, including requiring the removal from GPO premises of individuals who violate such regulations. Officers have concurrent jurisdiction with the law enforcement agencies where the premises are located.


See also

*
Bureau of Engraving and Printing The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversigh ...

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
is responsible for the printing of
United States currency The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relationship, relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond wha ...
. *
Federal Digital System The Federal Digital System (FDsys) replaces GPOAccess, an information storage Data Data (; ) are individual facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether ...
(FDsys) *
Her Majesty's Stationery Office The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the body responsible for the operation of His/Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and of other public information services of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nor ...
*
National Technical Information Service The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The primary mission of NTIS is to collect and organize scientific, technical, engineering, and business information generated by U.S. Governme ...
*
Queen's Printer The Queen's Printer (known as The King's Printer during the reign of a male monarch) is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the Queen-in-Council The King-in ...
* United States Congress Joint Committee on Printing


References


Further reading

* * *


External links


GPO website

United States House and Senate Committee Hearings and Publications in the LOUISiana Digital Library

National Federation of Advanced Information Services
{{Authority control 1861 establishments in Washington, D.C.
Government Printing Office A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a . In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and . Government is a means by whic ...
Government agencies established in 1861 Printing in the United States State publishers United States government information *