2009 Goverment Printing Report – A Closer Look at Costs, Habits, Policies, and Opportunities for Savings

The federal government has the opportunity to realize significant cost savings. Lexmark’s “2009 Government Printing Report – A Closer Look at Costs, Habits, Policies, and Opportunities for Savings,” study reveals the federal government spends nearly $1.3 billion each year on employee printing. Of those costs, the federal government spends approximately $440.4 million on superfluous printing – more than $1 million per day and more than four times the amount President Obama recently called upon agency chiefs to eliminate from their administrative budgets.

Despite these costs, the majority of respondents – 89 percent – report their federal agencies do not have any formal printing policies in place. By establishing clear printing guidelines standardized across agencies and by moving from paper to digital trails, the federal government can reduce printing costs and reinvest savings back into agency budgets.

The “2009 Government Printing Report” finds the average federal employee prints 7,200 pages each year and immediately discards approximately 35 percent of those pages the same day they are printed. Seventy-nine percent of federal employees acknowledge they print more in the office than when at home. Fifty-four percent admit they are unaware of cost considerations when printing. Ninety-two percent confess they do not need all of the documents they print each day.

While federal employees are hooked on printing, 64 percent of those asked said it would be possible for them to print less, and 69 percent believe their agencies’ documentation processes realistically could be converted from paper to digital trails, thus opening the door to major opportunities for improved processes and federal savings.

To download the full study results or to register for the “Government Printing Report – A Federal Perspective” Webinar on June 24, 2009 at 1 p.m. EDT, please visit www.governmentprintingreport.com.

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Edward Zurick

Hey Erin. I did read this article elsewhere (perhaps the WaPo) and totally agree. Just in my DoD activity I see the results (or waste). Many of the employees (esp. the long term career workers) have been conditioned that since we work in budget, finance and accounting, everything must be printed or we need hard copies of everything. Although DoD spends millions in IT related hardware and software, they rarely focus on e-data warehouse.

Just in my office I have suggested many times that we should reduce the hard copy printing of everything and find a way to store the data electronically. But without the support, not much will change. We have “share” drives within our IntraNet for Divisions, but they are small and limited. I often hear that it is too costly to expand since we pay EDS to manage our IT. Not long ago our activity decided to purchase a 500GB USB drive for all employees within the division. But most of the workers don’t know what to do with it, or how to make it productive.

It will be interesting to see where this goes…