NSPA--Seeking New Solutions
State government printing managers gathered in Washington recently, not to discuss politics, but to chart courses into the future.
From Web sites to electronic forms, the talk at the recent National State Publishing Association conference centered largely around digital technology and how government in-plants can put it to use.
Hosted by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and organized by Andrew Sherman, director of the GPO's office of congressional, legislative and public affairs, the 22nd annual conference took place in Arlington, Va., just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It featured several of GPO's most knowledgeable employees giving presentations on CD-ROMs, the Internet and electronic databases.
Especially notable was the attendance of Michael F. DiMario, U.S. Public Printer, at many of the conference events. DiMario and other key GPO officials spent lots of time mingling with the 57 government attendees, who hailed from 29 states plus the District of Columbia. This year NSPA was honored with three international attendees as well.
Both in the educational sessions and outside of them, attendees discussed numerous issues of concern to government in-plants, such as how to convince customers to send jobs digitally. Mark Shaw of Utah Legislative Printing said he asks customers to bring in both a hard copy original and a disk, then he outputs copies from each. When they see the quality difference, most customers start sending in jobs on disk. Other in-plants simply charge less money for digitally submitted jobs and thus reduce the number of hard copy submissions.
Electronic forms was another area of discussion. Several states noted that they now put forms on their Web sites for customers to print out themselves. The forms on the California Office of State Publishing's site can be filled out online. State Printer Celeste Maia Cron said this will be the wave of the future.