Study: Government Fritters Away $440.4 Million In Yearly Printing Costs

In total, the government spends roughly about $1.3 billion annually in employee printing.

Lexmark has contracts with all government agencies. One of its biggest clients currently is the Department of Defense. Brian Henderson, director, Lexmark Federal Information Solutions, said that the focus of the study was about printing habits rather than printers.

The study, "2009 Government Printing Report," from research firm O'Keeffe and Co., calculated that the average federal employee prints 7,200 pages each year. Ninety-two percent of employees admitted that they didn't need all of the documents they printed each day, and 35 percent confessed that they threw out roughly 35 percent of pages on the same day they are printed. Seventy-nine percent of employees admitted that they print more in the office than at home, and 54 percent said they weren't conscious of office printing costs.

"This study showed that the federal government doesn't have a printing plan, and highlights how agencies can save money if they do implement a plan and move more information electronically through customized devices," Henderson said.

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There is hope to cut wasteful printing. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said it would be possible for them to print less, and 69 percent believe their agencies' documentation processes could be converted from paper to digital trails, saving even more money.