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Frequently Asked Questions

What does GPO do?

Answer:  The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is the Federal Government's primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published information in all its forms.

GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government.  GPO's main mission is to ensure the American public has access to Government information.

GPO operates much like a business, as it is reimbursed by agencies for a percentage of the cost of work performed.

What is the Joint Committee on Printing?

Answer:  The Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), Congress of the United States, established by law, consists of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  This committee promulgates its basic regulations and instructions in the publication entitled Government Printing and Binding Regulations, identified by revision date and numerical series number.  These regulations are applicable to and are mandatory for use by all departments of the Federal Government, unless otherwise authorized by the committee.

What is the Federal Register?

Answer:  The Federal Register is a legal newspaper published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  It contains Federal agency regulations; proposed rules and notices; and Executive Orders, proclamations, and other Presidential documents.  The Federal Register informs citizens of their rights and obligations and provides access to a wide range of Federal benefits and opportunities for funding.  NARA's Office of the Federal Register prepares the Federal Register for publication in partnership with the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), which distributes it in paper and on the World Wide Web.

What is the Code of Federal Regulations?

Answer:  The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.  It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.  Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

Note:  All CFR titles are currently available electronically through GPO Access. The Internet address is:

What is the Federal Depository Library Program?

Answer:  Established by the Congress to ensure the American public has access to its Government's information, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) involves the acquisition, format conversion, and distribution of depository materials and the coordination of Federal depository libraries across the country.

The mission of the FDLP is to disseminate information products from all three branches of the Government to more than 1,250 libraries nationwide.  Libraries that have been designated as Federal depositories maintain these information products as part of their existing collections and are responsible for assuring that the public has free access to the material provided by the FDLP.

What is GPO Access?

Answer:  GPO Access is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) that provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government.  This free service is funded by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and has grown out of Public Law 103-40, known as the Government Printing Office Electronic Information Enhancement Act of 1993.

What is a GPO BAC?

Answer:  A GPO BAC is a 6-digit (alphanumeric) billing address code that identifies an agency/bureau and the unit's mailing address for billing documents for all
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) orders.

Where can I find my agency/bureau GPO BAC?

Answer:  If you do not know your agency/bureau GPO BAC, first contact personnel in your agency/bureau responsible for placing printing jobs with the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).  You may also contact your GPO Agency Publishing Specialist for this information.

Where can I find a glossary of printing terms specific to GPO's printing procurement program?

Answer:  A link to the U.S. Government Printing Office's (GPO) Glossary of Procurement Terminology is provided for informational purposes only.