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Administrator Doan Urges Fleet Managers to "Buy Green" from GSA

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Lurita A. Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
FedFleet Conference
Orlando, Florida
July 24, 2007


Thank you, Barney Brasseux and good morning everyone. I, too, am pleased to welcome you to the most important fleet event of the year and proud that GSA is a co-sponsor.  In keeping with our collective push for a Federal Fleet that’s energy efficient and environment-friendly, every effort has been made to make this conference as “green” as possible.  One example: you won’t see much paper when you walk into this year’s workshops, but you have been issued a thumb drive that you can use to download any presentation you want at www.fedfleet.org.

I think you’re going to find this a very productive week, thanks to the efforts of the Office of Governmentwide Policy and the Fedfleet Steering Committee.  Experts and panels have been assembled to speak and take your questions on everything from aging aircraft to the OMB Energy Scorecard.  GSA Fleet is also geared up with innovative remedies for your fleet needs and headaches.

GSA plays several roles when it comes to the fleet: we help devise Governmentwide Policy; we buy, sell and lease vehicles, and we have our own GSA Fleet.  Last week, we expanded that fleet in very positive fashion, as Barney mentioned, adding 55 Saturn Hybrid Sedans.

While that’s not enough to declare our national goal of American energy independence, it’s a step in the right direction, and every step counts. The federal government must lead by example because first, citizens are watching, and two, our fleet is considerable:

  • 630,000 cars and trucks …
  • That traveled over 5 billion miles last year …
  • Burning 350 million gallons of gas …
  • At a cost of 873 million dollars!

And that doesn’t take into account the planes --- nearly 1,500 federal aircraft … nearly 440,000 mission hours last year … at a cost of about a billion dollars!

GSA fleet under Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Jim Williams and Deputy Commissioner Barney Brasseux is a microcosm of GSA as a whole. Our job since 1949 has been to provide workspace, services and goods to all the other agencies at best value so that they can focus on their core missions. We’ve been providing vehicles and fleet management services to over 75 agencies since 1954, when Eisenhower was President, 21 cents bought a gallon of gas, and a good car cost less than $2,500. Can anyone here remember those good old days?

Our Office of Governmentwide Policy under Associate Administrator Kevin Messner helps form governmentwide policy and weighs in on bills being considered by Congress.  As I said, GSA is mandated by law to help the other agencies implement programs to meet petroleum reduction and AFV targets. Today’s fleet includes about 130,000 alternatively fueled vehicles. That’s good, but we can do better. 

I know that one problem plaguing every agency is finding alternative fuels for your AFV’s. GSA Fleet has worked hard to provide agencies with a better way to receive accurate, verifiable monthly fuel data.  The new reporting tool that gets the job done will be demonstrated at this conference. The tool will also allow agencies to provide specific information that will help agencies identify alternative fueling stations near federal vehicles, and to identify areas that need alternative fueling stations.

At the end of the day, the big picture is this: GSA wants to help fleet managers and their organizations develop strong strategic plans that link to and help them achieve their agency missions. We also want to help you obtain the goods and services you need, and to encourage the acquisition of environmental-friendly resources. (like those Saturns we bought last week!)

In addition to the areas I’ve mentioned, there are a couple of “inside baseball” items that won’t make the 6 0’clock news, but which are important nonetheless:

- GSA, with the ICAP (Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy) and the Fedfleet Council, has developed the “Aircraft and Vehicle Capital Planning Desk Guide.” The purpose is to help aviation and vehicle managers better understand their responsibilities with respect to cradle-to-grave asset management and budgeting.

- GSA fleet also wants agencies to participate in our vehicle order review process to ensure that all the vehicles you order meet agency missions.  26 agencies participated in this year’s review.

While such items may not make headlines, they could save taxpayer dollars, which is something every citizen certainly understands…

Another citizen concern - and another focus of this year’s conference - is safety, both on the roads and in the air. We’re paying particular attention to aviation safety this week – please see your agenda for the relevant workshops.

Last, the Office of Governmentwide Policy sponsors the fleet and aviation awards program for the federal government. I want to encourage everyone to attend the awards ceremony, which honors our colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional skills, hard work and innovation in managing their fleets.

President Bush has said, when it comes to energy and the environment, the American people expect common sense, and they expect action.

The awardees we honor this year -- and indeed all of you -- are among the folks who must deliver that action. I hope more and more federal agencies look to GSA to satisfy their transportation needs. We’re committed to providing the best fleet services in the business at the lowest possible cost, a formula that will yield major dividends for our colleagues, our citizens and our environment.

Thank you very much.