GPO has insurance plan for print disasters

Taking another step in its digital reinvention, the Government Printing Office has begun a print disaster recovery plan for other agencies.

'Last year, the Agency for International Development had to close its digital print center for almost three months' because of possible anthrax contamination, said GPO creative services specialist Katherine D. Clarke, speaking today before the Federal Publishers Committee in Washington. 'No personnel were allowed in. Presses could not be run. The computers and paper could not be used.'

After subsequent queries from AID and the Supreme Court, GPO began drawing up a flexible disaster recovery agreement for agency print crises at three levels'from mechanical failure, building outages or regional disaster.

'An agency is responsible for getting its data to us' by File Transfer Protocol, e-mail or CD-ROM if a crisis occurs, Clarke said. GPO's part of the agreement is to store adequate paper and ink in advance, arrange for labor, and create a workflow to print, bind and deliver the agency's publications on the usual schedule. The work can be done at a GPO site or by one of 2,500 approved digital-print contractors.

The Supreme Court, in case of mechanical failure or outages, has contracted for GPO's Washington plant to print and deliver the court's 300-page, black-and-white Bench Opinions to LexisNexis and other recipients, Clarke said. A secure site in Seattle would substitute if a disaster affected all of Washington and the court had to meet elsewhere.

Clarke said GPO's yearly contract fee would depend on agency-specific materials and products needed. Standard-page black or color impressions, independent of run size, are 0.03 cent and 0.25 cent respectively; stitching, binding and delivery are extra.

She can be reached at (202) 512-1904, ext. 31480, or at

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