Time For Congress Folks To Go Digital

from the about-time dept

Two separate agencies that supply Congress with important reports, have simultaneously recognized that they're wasting a ton of money printing up reports for Congress critters each year. Both the Government Accountability Office (the GAO) and the Office of Management and Budget have announced plans to stop printing out the reports they deliver to Congress. Instead, they'll be delivered electronically, saving the agencies somewhere around a combined $0.5 million/year in printing costs. That's a tiny amount in the grand scheme of things, and you might argue that Congress will simply spend that (or maybe even more, given the way they spend) taking the electronic copies and printing them out themselves -- but it certainly seems like a reasonable point for Congress members to at least start recognizing that there's a digital age going on out there.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    anonymous, Jan 25th, 2008 @ 6:26pm

    please, lighten up

    I work as a staffer. This is a nothing story. Everything we do is PDF already. The real story wd be if they actually had Macs instead of letting Lockheed Martin dominate everything with super craptacular peecee garbage.

     

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  2.  
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    Ljlego, Jan 25th, 2008 @ 6:29pm

    Printouts

    Congressmen and women spending the saved half-million dollars on printouts shouldn't be as much of a problem, because, while there are certainly people who will print it out, the vast majority either (a) couldn't be bothered to do so, or (b) not do so at work. Perhaps if they privatized some of the expenses that Congress has to dole out (such as printouts and the like, reasonable of course), then we could take at least a small step out of the mire that we're in.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 5:16am

    but.....

    however,they probably print them on a local printer in thier office anyway...which is twice the cost of centrally printing them

     

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  4.  
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    Baloo, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 10:17am

    Congress Printouts, OMB

    SIMPLE!!! Use PDF's with the settings to NOT allow printing!
    And to the 'staffer' - PC's vs. Mac's is not a valid argument, which only goes to show why your a 'staffer' rather than a thinker or doer. Either is a 'tool' if you don't know how to use it, LEARN.

     

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  5.  
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    s3neo, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Congress Printouts, OMB

    NICE!! i'm so tired of the pc/mac argument being thrown up wherever and whenever. windows certainly has issues, but none of them have ever stopped me from reading a text document.

     

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  6.  
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    Micah, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Printouts

    You'd be surprised how much of the GAO is privatized/outsourced to Lockheed Martin. I work on the Hill and I think it's a huge conflict of interest for a huge government contractor to be doing so much work for the investigative arm of Congress (the GAO).

     

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  7.  
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    Micah, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Congress Printouts, OMB

    Lockheed Martin provides tech support for more than half of the House offices and they do not support Macs at all. They make proprietary software that only functions with Internet Explorer. We use Macs in our office because we use a better maintenance firm, but I still have to run parallels to use LM's software solution.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 3:54pm

    This really is a non-story. It won't increase productivity. It won't get them back into touch with America, it won't raise our voices above the din of the corporate conflaguration that dominates those hallowed halls. It won't help because it won't "un-buy" men who allowed themselves to be bought.

     

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  9.  
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    Gary Miller, Jan 26th, 2008 @ 5:57pm

    Video Conferencing

    They need to go a step further amd allow the Congress and Senate to teleconference in for voting and committee meetings. Having our government centralised in one small city that could be wiped out by a nuclear device delivered on the back of a pickup truck is way to risky in this day of age. Soon it will be within the reach of many petty dictatorships to either obtain nuclear weapons or buy them on the international black market. Countries like Iran and Syria will not risk head on annihalation by going to war with us directly but they will provide terrorist groups the means to do it for them.

     

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  10.  
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    John, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 1:20am

    Re: Video Conferencing

    I agree about spacing every thing out and video Conferencing all they can. They save on travel and a lot of other things that can really add up! Next we need to be able to vote on line either by e-mail or the web.

     

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  11.  
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    John, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 1:21am

    Re: Video Conferencing

    I agree about spacing every thing out and video Conferencing all they can. They save on travel and a lot of other things that can really add up! Next we need to be able to vote on line either by e-mail or the web.

     

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    upstate.dem, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    Re: Congress Printouts, OMB

    The staffer's preference for Mac is not where he/she thinks the savings would be its from stoping the government contractor leasing PCs at outrageous rates (ie the mention of Lockheed-Martin). As far as your insult to him/her for being a staffe not a thinker or doer, well you are not too much of reader since the staffer commented that everything is already in PDF form and no one uses the printed reports in congress.

     

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    Bah who needs one, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    "It certainly seems like a reasonable point for Congress members to at least start recognizing that there's a digital age going on out there."

    That's what I'm afraid of. First they recognize that there's a digital age going on out there. Then they start legislating to regulate it.

    Hands off my Internet!

    John: online voting (and vote-by-mail and other forms of absentee voting) destroys ballot secrecy and results in voter coercion and vote-buying. It's pretty much a nonstarter.

     

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  14.  
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    Gas_gas_gas, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 8:23pm

    A lot of ignorance

    For instance: Baloo, download the pdf and change the permissions to print. PC vs. Mac is a valid argument when you're talking about what companies get lucrative government contracts. Bah who needs one, Congress already regulates things digital. Gary Miller, the government is not 'centralised in one small city.' Grow up. More and more, techdirt comments seem to come from high school kids or twenty-somethings who know nothing about technology beyond the basics of double-clicking on Word or IE. It says a lot that the government staffer shines over the rest of you.

     

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  15.  
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    Micah, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Printouts

    Look, I like Macs because I'm a raging homosexual who loves eating poo. Macs make people like me happy because we don't have to think to use them. If you could just see that, you wouldn't be having a problem with my point of view.

    I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG YOU STUPID HEAD!!!1!!!ONE!

     

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  16.  
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    valarie, Jan 27th, 2008 @ 9:36pm

    Re: A lot of ignorance

    this is what you have forgotten that the united nations ordered all nations to go digital by 2012, you may think your right but your wrong, coming from someone who has not graduated high school but is very much in my 40's and know that the government does want us to go digital. except for one thing most people don't know this unless they have worked for a telecommuncations agencey before. most americans are real, we read, we are well americans. you are not as GAS,GAS,GAS; you are a coward for not giving your real name. you may think you are a man but you are a coward for attacking poeple on the net. an educated man would know when to fight pick his fights and most all when them all. know the law. check fcc.gov; do your home work idiot.

     

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