Printing & Distribution was established in the early 1970s as the City's Bureau of Central Services. Its purpose was to consolidate the various reproduction and mailing functions throughout city and county government into one agency that would more efficiently perform these functions. Through the years, new services and technologies have been added, the volume of business has increased, traditional processes have changed, new customers have been added, and Central Services has become Printing & Distribution (P&D).
City agencies must go through P&D for their printing work, although they have their choice of the actual provider. Other local government agencies use P&D by choice. The division competes for this work on price, quality and timeliness directly with other providers. Current major customers include:
- All City of Portland Agencies
- Multnomah County
- State of Oregon - Portland Area Agencies
- Metro Regional Government
- Portland Development Commission
- Housing Authority of Portland
- Local Neighborhood Associations
According to City Code, P&D is charged with managing all reproduction, mail, distribution, and copy services required by city agencies. It is the division's responsibility to ensure City bureaus and all local government customers receive reproduction and mailing services on time, at a quality level that is appropriate to the task, and at a competitive price.
P&D is an internal working capital fund of the City of Portland and is not subsidized by the City's general fund. All operating costs for the division must be recovered solely through service rates. During the past 10-years rates for basic services have increased only once, the hourly rate has increased only three times, and all rates have increased significantly less than the rate of inflation.