Federal Eye: Paper jams at Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Angry employees at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing say the cash-strapped agency is giving taxpayer money to government employees to return government printers.

At least 534 mostly senior bureau employees have individual printers to ensure that sensitive documents — related mostly to personnel issues — don’t end up in the wrong hands. But now the agency wants them back and plans to give employees a $75 gift card to turn them over. Employees that surrender their printers will instead use network printers — all in an effort to cut paper, ink and electricity costs.

“Personal printers in BEP cost significantly more to use, operate and maintain than network printers,” said to a flyer distributed at the bureau’s offices in Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. The flyer, designed like an old-school Western “Wanted” poster, includes the image of a cowboy with a lasso riding a horse chasing after a printer (see the flyer after the jump).

“For a limited time, to incentivize you to voluntarily give up your active personal printer, BEP will share the savings with you,” the flyer said. “You will receive a gift card in the amount of $75 if you turn in an active personal printer.”

The gift cards will “reward employees who voluntarily agree to use a network printer that would admittedly take additional personal effort, as it would be less convenient and more time consuming to print a document at a network printer than using a printer at their desk,” bureau spokeswoman Claudia Dickens said in an e-mail. (What?! They can’t just walk down the hall to retrieve their documents? Hmm…)

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