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Excellence in Partnership Awards Dinner

As prepared for delivery:

Remarks by
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Excellence in Partnership Awards Dinner
11/08/05

 

Thank you, Barbara (Shelton), for that kind introduction.

And thanks to all of you for inviting me to be part of this year’s Excellence in Partnership Awards Dinner. My congratulations to:

- Larry Allen and Paul Caggiano;

- The Coalition for Government Procurement, and,

- To Federal Computer Week for hosting this important event that is very much tied to GSA’s core mission: namely, to help other agencies better serve the public by offering superior workplaces, solutions and other services at best value.

Of course that’s what the Schedules Program is all about, leveraging the tremendous buying power of the government to provide superior goods and services to our agency clients at below-market cost. Or, in plain English, ensuring top quality at the best price. As noted in your brochures, tonight’s awards will be going to those who have done exemplary work to utilize and promote the Schedules Program, thus benefiting not only their agencies, but the American taxpayer.

Let me also take a moment to acknowledge acting commissioner Barbara Shelton for the outstanding work she’s done – and continues to do -- to build and preside over GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

There’s also someone here who needs no introduction to this audience -- my friend and former Administrator Steve Perry, without whom there might very well be no Federal Acquisition Service.  Steve, please stand a moment.

The doctrine that Adminstrator Perry used as a foundation for our new organization and most of the initiatives he began at GSA was President Bush’s Management Agenda. If you’ve ever heard Steve speak, you know he viewed the PMA as the lynchpin of all major government reform efforts.

President Bush likes to say: to reform government, we must re-think government. Steve’s variation on that theme went like this: to reform GSA, we must rethink GSA. We did, we continue to do so, and I hope you share the optimism we feel about GSA as we head toward the holiday season and the New Year.

What you may not know is that recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance – the precise reason we’re all here tonight -- has been part of the President’s Management Agenda since the day that document was drafted.

In discussing the strategic management of human capital - one of the core principles of the PMA – President Bush way back in 2002 urged agencies to create “a meaningful system to measure performance,” and “awards for employees who surpass expectations.”

“With a system of rewards and accountability,” he said, “we can promote a culture of achievement throughout the federal government.”

I’ll repeat….. Promote a culture of achievement ..

I think that is exactly what tonight’s winners have done, and why we have gathered to honor their achievements.

They exemplify what President Bush, Steve Perry, Barbara Shelton, David Bibb -- and I suspect all of you – badly want from our federal workforce.

- We all want high performance to become a way of life that defines the culture of the federal service;

- We want public service to attract and keep talented people who will demand and deliver high performance and sustained excellence;

- And we want agencies to meet and exceed established productivity and performance goals.

I know Steve Perry had all those items in mind as he led the merger of FSS and FTS into the Federal Acquisition Service.  The key goal for FAS in the post-Perry era will not change one iota. It will be to continue improving our organizational capability to efficiently and effectively deliver excellent acquisition services that provide best value for our federal agency customers and the American taxpayers. And by the way, thank you again for the input you provided during the drafting of our reorganization plans.

We believe the changes at GSA will enhance customer service and acquisition management while inserting enough flexibility into the management process so innovative procurement methods are still available. 

Part of this is also about strengthening our ability to act as one agency, with consistent rules and business practices so that our customers are able to better understand our goals and objectives in meeting their needs. 

Last, the reorganization positions us to be able to provide our customers with integrated solutions, such as those offered in the commercial marketplace.

The bottom line is a GSA that is more effective and efficient in meeting customer needs and spending taxpayer dollars.

Interestingly, that’s pretty much the same goal at the heart of the GSA Schedules Program. Streamlining processes and procedures for buying goods and services is the most efficient and effective way to meet customer needs and stretch taxpayer dollars.

Again, tonight is about honoring those who have used the Schedules Program the same creative and insightful way that others have used the President’s Management Agenda. Awards will be going all the way from enthusiastic newcomers to lifetime achievers.

In closing, let me again assure you that whether the subject is federal acquisition, Get it Right, electronic government, or assisting service-disabled veterans, we intend to build on the solid foundation laid by Steve Perry.  As we do so, we will be inspired by the accomplishments of those we honor tonight.

Thank you very much for allowing me to participate in this special celebration.