Letter from the Administrator
The General Services Administration (GSA) Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Agency Financial Report (AFR), details our accomplishments and challenges in program and financial management over the past year. The audit opinion and financial results reported in the AFR verify that GSA financial operations comply with the U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance, federal financial regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles.
Effective and efficient government has never been more important. Federal budgets are shrinking and the demand for government services is greater than ever before. In this climate GSA must deliver on its mission to provide the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people. By leveraging the buying power of the federal government, we are helping agencies buy smarter, reduce their real estate footprint, and create a better, smarter, faster government.
GSA’s programs save taxpayer dollars and allow agencies to reinvest in their mission. GSA procures goods and services for government agencies through its Strategic Sourcing Initiative, saving more than $300 million for federal agencies since 2010. While saving money we have also increased participation of small businesses and reduced duplication across government. By offering innovative technologies to our federal partners, we have been able to deliver more effective services and create a more transparent government. As part of this effort, we are working across federal agencies to develop many of the government’s most innovative projects. These projects include Data.gov, which has eased access to more than 75,000 government data sets, and the MyUSA platform, which will save significant time filling out government forms.
We are also using the buying power of the government to better manage the federal government’s building inventory. This allows us to negotiate leases that are, on average, more than 11 percent below market rates, creating annual savings of more than $30 million. In addition, we work aggressively to ensure that the facilities we own are being used as optimally as possible. At the same time, we are working to support the President and Congress’ commitment to freeze the federal footprint. In FY 2013, GSA disposed of 213 properties with $98 million in sales proceeds. Of these properties, eight were GSA-owned assets, generating $32 million in proceeds.
GSA is working to ensure that the buildings we are using are suited for the needs of the federal government in the 21st century. GSA is leading the way in this effort, with employees throughout the country beginning to use an open, mobile work environment to increase productivity and reduce costs. Adopting this approach at our headquarters has reduced workspace per individual to 141 usable square feet per employee and saved American taxpayers over $24 million in rent. We are working to help other federal agencies adopt this model through our Total Workplace program.
GSA knows how to use the buying power of the federal government to drive down costs, increase collaboration, and promote efficiency. We are committed to building a responsive and effective government to best serve federal employees, agencies, and the American people. This report will show how the women and men of GSA are working tirelessly to create the most efficient agency possible in order to fulfill our mission.
Financial Systems and Performance Data Assurances
As outlined in the Management Assurances section of this report, GSA conducted its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over operations, systems, and financial reporting. GSA can provide reasonable assurance that internal controls were operating effectively in each of these areas, except for one material weakness identified in the financial reporting process. More detail on this topic is in the Management Assurances section of this report.
Throughout the year, our senior managers assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations by analyzing financial and performance data. Management relies on this data to identify material inadequacies in financial and program performance areas and to identify corrective actions needed to resolve them. As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, I have assessed the financial and performance data used in this report, and believe it to be complete and reliable.
Over the past year, the women and men at GSA have done outstanding work serving our partner agencies and the American people. Their efforts are making a difference throughout the government as well as the entire country. We are proud of what we accomplished in 2013, recognize opportunities for improvement, and look forward to making continued progress in the new fiscal year.
December 9, 2013