Paper Money

BEP reports gains in Federal Reserve note sales

On Oct. 8, redesigned Series 2009 $100 Federal Reserve notes of the style shown here will be released into circulation. This design is not bound by a 2008 court order to design, produce and issue paper money that is readily distinguishable to blind and visually impaired individuals, although the generation of $100 notes following the Series 2009 notes will fall under the court order.

Images courtesy of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivered 8.4 billion Federal Reserve notes of all denominations to the Federal Reserve in Fiscal Year 2012, according to the 2012 BEP Chief Financial Officer Performance and Accountability Report, released in late May 2013.

Of that total, 3.4 billion notes were produced at the BEP’s Washington, D.C., plant, and 5 billion notes were produced at the BEP’s Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sales of the notes to the Federal Reserve resulted in revenue of $736 million and an excess of revenue over expenses of $54 million, according to the report.

That compares with FY2011, when the BEP delivered 5.8 billion FRNs to the Federal Reserve Board. Of that total, the BEP’s Washington, D.C., facility delivered 2.3 billion FRNs; the Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, delivered 3.5 billion FRNs.

Sales of the notes to the Federal Reserve Bank in FY2011 resulted in revenue of $548 million, and an excess of revenue over expenses of $16 million.

Notes delivered during FY2012 included a long-delayed issue.

The Federal Reserve Board “has begun to accept delivery and build inventories” of the new Series 2009 $100 Federal Reserve notes, according to the report, released in late May 2013.

The new $100 FRNs are expected to be released into circulation Oct. 8, 2013, more than two years later that originally announced by the Federal Reserve.

The new designs for the $100 Federal Reserve notes were unveiled April 21, 2010, and the notes were expected to be placed into circulation Feb. 10, 2011. However, problems that arose early in the production of the notes resulted in delays as causes of the problems were identified and corrected.

The new $100 FRNs are among the 7.8 billion FRNs of all denominations that the Federal Reserve Board has ordered for Fiscal Year 2013.

Production improvements

During FY2012, the BEP continued to install a new overprinting system known as Large Examining and Printing Equipment that will enable the BEP to produce 50-subject sheets of FRNs. Two LEPE systems were installed at the BEP’s Texas facility and the bureau received approval to begin production of the $1 FRNs there in 2013. Testing of a LEPE in the Washington, D.C., plant began in 2012.

Looking ahead to FY2013

The implementation of 50-subject production of $1 FRNs is high on the priority list for Fiscal Year 2013, according to the report. To that end, the installation of the first Computerized Inspection System was installed in Washington, D.C., during FY2012. The system is capable of inspecting offset/intaglio printed sheets of up to 50 subjects and will be used to inspect 32-subject sheets for both the conventional overprinting equipment (COPE) and the new LEPEs.

Also looking ahead for Fiscal Year 2013, the BEP is continuing to work on the development of tactile features and the use of large, high-contrast numerals for Federal Reserve notes to help blind and visually impaired persons identify FRN denominations. The accommodations fulfill a requirement of a court decision in a lawsuit filed in 2002.

The use of a raised tactile feature will be something new for U.S. paper money. Tactile features are common on notes of other nations. The tactile feature will be unique to each FRN denomination and provide users with a means of identifying each denomination by way of touch, the BEP states.

The size, color, placement, background contrast and other aspects of the larger numerals are all factors that will have to be considered in any future redesign.

The BEP has said it will be incorporating these features into the next redesign of FRNs, after the Series 2009 $100 FRN is released.

Copies of the 2012 CFO report may be requested from the BEP by telephoning the agency at 877-874-4114. ¦

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