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Bibb Honored for GSA's Green Initiatives

Remarks by
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
AFCEA Excellence Awards Luncheon
Washington, DC
July 29, 2009


Thank you very much, Ken Touloumes. Good afternoon, everyone, it’s a pleasure to be with the Bethesda Chapter of AFCEA, and an honor to be chosen for this very special award.

I would also like to introduce my wife, Becky.  I’m so glad she is here with me today.

In addition, it’s a true pleasure to acknowledge my friend and colleague from OMB, Karen Evans, GSA’s own Fred Schobert, and the rest of the honorees, for the amazing government-wide initiatives that they have achieved, and which earned them recognition from AFCEA.

Improving our environment through governmentwide green initiatives has truly been an agency-wide undertaking at GSA. We have, for instance:

  • 10,000 green goods and services offered by GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, and an on-going push that has made eco-friendly procurement easier and easier for federal agencies;
  • On the other side of the house, our Public Buildings Service continues as a leader in incorporating the principles of sustainable design in all federal buildings, courthouses, and buildings leased for federal government use;
  • FAS and PBS are working together like never before in many areas, particularly sustainability . . . . Just watch us as these two GSA organizations move forward together with an exciting array of green data center offerings;
  • GSA is leading by example in the what-is-now-vital area of telework. Telework not only helps preserve precious natural resources, keeps cars off the road, helps with employee attraction and retention, but also gets us better prepared for times of national emergency. We’re now at nearly 30% of our GSA workforce teleworking at least one day per week;
  • For fiscal 2008, GSA Fleet purchased over 22,000 alternative fuel vehicles for our client agencies, plus 239 hybrid electric vehicles. Moreover we sold 13,862 AFV’s at public auctions, putting more of these energy efficient vehicles into the hands of private consumers, and;
  • An aggressive move has even begun to green up our 110 child care centers. Our facilities operators are watching their carbon footprints, and choosing recycled and environmentally friendly materials. In addition, we are implementing a "learning healthy early" initiative designed to help parents and children make healthier choices and become more environmentally aware!

So you see that while I get to accept this award as chief environmental officer, it has indeed been a true team effort. Our team of course includes Fred Schobert, Chief Technology Officer of GSA’s Integrated Technology Services. Fred is a key leader in providing encryption security for laptop computers across the government, and is also here today to receive an award from AFCEA.

While I’m here today, I want to take the opportunity to make one other point. I want all of you in the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association to know that the same level of commitment we’ve put into greening the federal government has also been put into our relationship with the department of defense. Let me cite just a few examples of our very productive partnership:

  • Within GSA, we have a DoD/GSA working group from across the agency, which I chair, that meets every two weeks.  Our sole goal is to improve GSA’s ability to help DoD get its job done.  Among many initiatives, we have recognized that it is very important to interact regularly with groups such as AFCEA, and you will see a much stronger GSA presence within your organization than has existed in the past;
  • Our recent 3-party MOA with the U.S. Transportation Command and the Defense Logistics Agency has helped expedite resources to the warfighter;
  • We have a new MOA with the Marine Corps to take the logistical workload off all of their permanent installations, and we hope to expand that to the other services.
  • Key executives of both agencies meet monthly.  Department procurement officers are being encouraged to use GSA Schedules and other GSA procurement vehicles, and;
  • We had great success recently with on a joint effort involving computer encryption.

While I will be leaving GSA on September first, I’m satisfied that the GSA-DoD relationship is back on track. I believe as well that strong forward momentum has been achieved on the green front, and that we will continue to move ahead in a manner that serves our client agencies while still respecting the environment.

These are not mutually exclusive objectives, but it takes innovation, leadership and sustained commitment. True, no single individual, organization or government entity can clear the path to a pristine environment or American energy independence. But GSA is taking advantage of its unique position as the federal government’s purchasing arm to make real progress toward these critical objectives.

It is with that team effort in mind that I am, again, very proud to accept this award today.

Thank you very much.