Government PrintingComparison of DOD and GPO Prices for Printing and Duplicating Work Gao ID: NSIAD-95-65 February 17, 1995
GAO examined the prices charged to customers for printing and duplication work at the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Defense Printing Service (DPS). GAO found that GPO prices for printing work were about 9 to 11 percent lower than those of DPS. For printing requisitions of more than $500--about 78 percent of the printing dollars--GPO's prices were about 21 percent lower than those of DPS. For requisitions of $500 and less--22 percent of the total printing dollars--DPS' prices were about 31 percent lower than GPO's. GAO estimates that overall, GPO prices for DPS' fiscal year 1994 printing workload would have been about $2.4 million lower than those of DPS. DPS prices for duplicating requisitions were about four to five percent lower than GPO prices. For those requisitions priced at more than $500, there was about 0.4-percent difference favoring GPO, and for those of $500 or less, the difference was about 57 percent in favor of DPS. GAO estimates that overall, DPS prices for the DPS fiscal year 1994 duplicating workload would have been about $9.3 million lower than the GPO prices.
GAO found that: (1) a meaningful cost comparison of the services provided by GPO and DPS could not be made because the agencies captured the costs differently; (2) there are longstanding questions regarding the reliability of the DPS cost accounting system; (3) GPO prices for printing were about 10 percent lower than DPS printing prices; (4) DPS prices for duplicating requisitions were about 4 to 5 percent lower than GPO prices; (5) GPO contractor prices, under printing term contracts, were about 37 percent lower than DPS printing prices; (6) no significant differences existed between GPO duplicating term contracts and DPS prices; (7) GPO provided price estimate information based on term contracts used by federal agencies, indicating that these prices would be lower than DPS prices; (8) it was uncertain whether GPO could establish suitable term contracts to handle the DPS workload and satisfy customer needs at its projected prices; (9) due to uncertainty in the marketplace, the magnitude and direction of price changes will be difficult to predict; and (10) GPO and DPS will both experience price increases during fiscal year 1995.