Bureau of Engraving and Printing Cancels Printer Bribe-Back Program

Congressman wants to know reasoning behind gift card incentive

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is scrapping its puzzling cost-saving plan to pay employees to turn in their individual computers, according to a press release from Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms.

The BEP wanted to cut printing costs by confiscating the personal printers of a privileged 500-plus government employees, forcing those employees to use the same network printers their lesser colleagues queue to.

Their plan? Offer $75 gift cards to those employees who turn over their printers.

This upset Issa and some government employees. One of those employees complained to the Washington Post that the $75 in shared savings was a waste of money and an unfair bonus to the employees who have had the luxury of printing to their own offices.

Issa wrote BEP a letter asking why they thought it was necessary to spend $40,000 to get the printers instead of just having the employees return them at no charge.

"Your initiative may go down in history as one of the all time senseless uses of taxpayer dollars," he wrote.

Well, looks those 40 Gs won't be wasted after all. According to the Post, BEP has scrapped the gift card idea. In fact, the bureau has scrapped the printer roundup entirely.

"We have suspended any activities related to the printers," spokeswoman Claudia Dickens said, adding later that, "For now, everyone gets to keep their printer."

This is starting to sound like a plot to one of Bud Light's "too light/too heavy" commercials. They won't pay money to save money; they won't bother to save money at all.

"The plan for taxpayers to pay for gift cards to reward employees for simply returning office property defied common sense," Issa said in Wednesday's press release. "I'm thankful there are some grown-ups at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing who stepped up to cancel this outrageous expenditure after it was exposed and officials were put on notice that they would be held accountable."

He still wants an explanation for the "flawed" reasoning behind the junked plan.

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