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GSA Thanks "Dear Abby"

GSA #10071

March 16, 2004
Contact: Public Affairs (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC – On March 11, 2004, GSA Administrator Stephen Perry formally recognized Jeanne Phillips, better known throughout America as   “Dear Abby,” for her efforts to help educate citizens about important issues and bring government and citizens closer together.

Working with GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center, Abby offered her readers a free Citizen’s Survival Kit covering subjects such as disaster preparedness and consumer protection. As a result, citizens requested nearly 1 million free Federal publications.

The Federal Citizen Information Center is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications.

Administrator Perry called Phillips “one of our most power allies in the on-going effort to bring government closer to the people.”  GSA’s role in educating the public was dramatically increased when President Bush charged the agency with making it easier for citizens to interact with their government as part of his E-Gov initiative.

GSA’s partnership with “Dear Abby” is an example of government delivering information to citizens in the medium of their choice.  After reading Abby’s column, citizens wrote, called, e-mailed and logged on to www.pueblo.gsa.gov in record numbers.  And all of the publications are still available online.

The plaque presented to Phillips acknowledged her “extraordinary and continuing efforts to inform and educate American citizens.”  Phillips and GSA pledged to work together in the future to bring citizens and their government together by sharing the best government information and improving channels for citizen communication.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement; property management and policy agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing governmentwide policies. Additionally, the Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC) within GSA provides the resources for citizens to access federal, state and local information in a variety of ways—via the Web (FirstGov.gov), e-mail, telephone, fax, or print.