National Gallery of Art

Save thousands of dollars annually by ...

Background: when using federal dollars for printing jobs, federal agencies must use the Government Printing Office (GPO) and participating contractors. GPO works as intermediary and handles billing/payment through the SPA (Simplified Purchase Agreement) mechanism. A government purchase card can be used or an established deposit account (IPAC)-- the equivalent of automatic withdrawal. Problems #1: too often, a printer will send the bill directly to the agency instead of the GPO; this means duplicate payments/hours of research by the agency’s various departments (division that placed the order, billing office, accounts payables, treasurer’s office, etc.) #2: sometimes, GPO will take the agency’s credit card information but fail to process it; at EOFY, those obligated funds are now pushed into a new FY, demanding hours of research. Worse, three fiscal years later, demands for payment surface and the department that ordered the printing job must do research/find the funds. #3: sometimes, GPO will process the agency’s purchase card AS WELL as raid the agency’s account through IPAC—i.e., countless person hours to resolve the issue. Problem #4: Might no longer be the case, but at a GPO training, GPO staff said there was no statute of limitations for vendors to submit their invoices. Some printers would purposely delay invoicing the government, so they could carry out a bankruptcy and open a new shop across the street. These ‘new invoices for old jobs’ $$$ no longer subjected to creditors’ claims served to buy new printing presses! Solution for #1-3: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Choose one type of payment (purchase card or IPAC) or integrate the two methods. The same way your Amex bill is on automatic withdrawal and get the full amount from your checking account, you can enjoy both the mileage and the peace of mind that automatic payment offers. #4: Place a statute of limitations on printer invoicing, before EOFY or within 90 days of delivery, whichever comes first.

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Idea No. 15673