GPO shake-up leads to new tech shops

As part of a sweeping reorganization, the Government Printing Office has created two new divisions with IT responsibilities.

The plan announced last week calls for a new Information and Technology Systems Division that Reynold Schweickhart will lead as IRM policy manager. Schweickhart will report to deputy public printer George A. Taylor, who will be chief operating officer under public printer and chief executive officer Bruce R. James.

Schweickhart formerly was technology director for the House Administration Committee, where he managed emergency communications systems as well as the BlackBerry handhelds from Research in Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, that many members of Congress use.

The reorganization also creates a new Office of Innovation and Partnerships. It will 'establish ongoing relationships with cutting-edge companies, premiere educational institutions and relevant government entities to gather information on emerging technologies and get it into the hands of the appropriate GPO managers,' spokesman Andrew Sherman said. GPO officials have not selected a director for the organization.

The I and P Office also will review printing technologies and other areas not directly relevant to IT, Sherman said. The office's chief will report directly to James.

Schweickhart's group will consolidate several IT organizations within the congressional agency. They include GPO's IRM Office, which formerly oversaw administrative operations such as payroll and telecommunications. It also will have authority over electronic prepress databases that formerly were run by GPO's Production Operations Office. GPO's network systems activities and the agency's operations in support of its GPO Access Web site will fall under the office's purview, too.

As a congressional agency, GPO is exempt from the Clinger-Cohen Act that mandates the roles and responsibilities of CIOs, Sherman said.

Under the new plan, James will oversee strategic planning activities and relations with Congress, the press and other outside groups, while Taylor will run the agency's day-to-day production, human resources, finance, customer service and IT operations.

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