GSA Emergency Chief Says Agency Better Prepared for Crises
August 28, 2007
Contact: Steve Hoffman, (202) 501-1231
NEW ORLEANS – Expansion and improvement of the U.S. General Services Administration’s emergency response office has made the agency better prepared to deal with any national crisis, GSA Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer Richard Reed told a major preparedness summit today.
“As the federal government’s premier acquisition agency, we recognize that after a disaster, GSA can make a huge difference in how quickly a community recovers,” Mr. Reed said during remarks at the Gulf Coast Reconstruction and Preparedness Summit, held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans, La.
Mr. Reed was among key federal officials in New Orleans, La., attending the summit to discuss the $100 billion reconstruction program, new federal programs and funding to prepare against future catastrophes. State and local officials were also present to provide details on reconstruction and preparedness contracts.
Mr. Reed, head of GSA’s Office of Emergency Response and Recovery (OERR), noted GSA Administrator Lurita Doan’s commitment to strengthening the agency’s emergency response capacity has “positioned us where we need to be” for the 2007 hurricane season.
Formerly the director of continuity of policy for the Homeland Security Council at the White House and a nationally recognized emergency management expert, Mr. Reed told summit attendees GSA’s hurricane response strategy is focused on advance preparation; customer communications/hotlines; damage assessment; historic building assistance; returning customers to operational status; returning owned and leased space to operational status; and providing communications and resource support to other federal agencies.
Another improvement involves GSA’s new disaster recovery purchasing program for state and local governments, which allows state, local and tribal agencies to access the GSA Schedules to facilitate recovery from a major natural disaster or act of terrorism. “Opening GSA’s sources of supply and pre-negotiated terms, conditions and pricing to state and local agencies struggling to recover from a crisis is a significant move,” Mr. Reed said.
For more information about GSA’s Office of Emergency Response and Recovery, visit gsa.gov.
Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government. GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,300 government-owned or leased buildings and 205,000 vehicles. GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 420 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and eGov Travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.
Did You Know? Over the past year, GSA has sponsored over 25 outreach events in the Gulf Coast region aimed at teaching small business owners how to compete for federal contracts. As well, 62% of all contracting dollars spent by GSA in areas struck by Hurricane Katrina were awarded to small businesses.