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O'Hare Addresses Military Logistics Forum

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Ed O’Hare
Chief Information Officer
Federal Acquisition Service
U.S. General Services Administration
Institute for Defense and Government Advancement
Military Logistics Summit 2008
Tysons Corner, Virginia
September 23, 2008

 

Thank you very much, Tom.

Good morning, everyone.

It’s wonderful to be here with you this morning. I know you’re probably aware there have been a lot of changes at GSA lately. One thing to bear in mind, though, is that nothing has changed about our unwavering commitment to serve our client agencies. DoD is of course one of our most important customers, and so the first thing I’d like to say today is that Jim Williams, our Acting Administrator, Deputy Administrator Barney Brasseaux and I appreciate and are honored by the partnership between GSA and DoD, and we will do everything possible to strengthen this relationship.

In fact, I think of all of us as part of the same team. As we approach the start of another college basketball season, it’s worth remembering that no one understood the concept of teamwork better than one of Barney’s heroes, John Wooden. For those of you who don’t know or recall, Wooden won 10 N-C Double A Championships at UCLA.  No one did that before him, and it’s doubtful anyone will ever do it in the future.

Wooden’s teams were loaded with talent, but he believed, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” Let me repeat: “The main ingredient in stardom is the rest of the team.” I happen to agree. And this transcends basketball. Certainly GSA cannot succeed without dynamic leadership, but fulfilling our mission requires a total team effort.

Next year we celebrate our 60-year anniversary. I know … we don’t look a day over 50! But it’s true. Since 1949, we’ve been providing supplies, services and workspace at best value so our sister agencies can focus on their core missions. At the same time, we’ve been adding to our portfolio. GSA manages USA.gov, one of the 25 websites that Time Magazine says we can’t live without. We manage more than a hundred world-class childcare facilities. We play a key role in historic preservation and land ports of entry. We provide charge card and travel agency services. And, through everything from fleet vehicles to telework to environmentally friendly buildings, we’re helping to “green” the federal government.

Many individuals are responsible for these programs and initiatives, but our success really hinges on team GSA.

Let me bring this home a little and turn to:

  • How GSA and DoD work together to improve the delivery of supplies and services to our armed forces;
  • GSA programs and initiatives aimed at helping DoD achieve its mission; and
  • IT requirements to enhance warfighter support capabilities.

First off, GSA’s relationship with DoD has been very positive, starting with our MOU that says:

  • GSA agrees to perform any work on behalf of DoD consistent with DoD rules and guidance;
  • GSA agrees to provide DoD with discrete data about every action, giving DoD more data than would be otherwise available through DoD systems, and real-time visibility into the progress of their work; and,
  • Our agencies are working to identify opportunities to leverage GSA's capabilities in support of DoD's mission and requirements.

How does this play out in the real world? Here’s one example. At DoD’s request, GSA Global Supply activated inventory in the Kuwait Distribution Center to support warfighters in Afghanistan, in addition to existing support of warfighters in Iraq and Kuwait. This change improved DoD readiness in the Afghan theatre by cutting surface delivery time of needed supplies by nearly 50% (25 days from Kuwait compared to 47 days from the U.S.). By the end of fiscal 2008, a projected $68 million in GSA orders will have shipped from the Kuwait Distribution Center to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.

In another instance, GSA was designated as the U.S. Marine Corps Garrison Retail Supply chain provider.

Our Federal Acquisition Service’s year-long partnership with the corps achieved a milestone in the signing of an intra-governmental support agreement designating GSA as the Garrison Retail Supply chain provider. Support includes a dedicated virtual servmart ordering website, as well as managing supply fulfillment support in the Corps’ brick-and-mortar servmart stores

We were also pleased when Gen. Norton Schwartz, as Commander of Transportation Command (USTranscom) recognized the work by GSA Global Supply in streamlining stocking and distribution processes in support of forward deployed forces. Improvements to warehouse processes, ocean container utilization, and vessel booking procedures by Global Supply have vastly increased the speed of getting material to the warfighter while reducing costs and improving supply chain efficiency.

Then there is the partnership with USTranscom and DLA.

The U.S. Transportation Command, Defense Logistics Agency, and GSA Global Supply established a formal partnership to improve supply chain management practices and processes in support of the armed forces. Goals include integrating supply chain operations planning, sharing best practices and business intelligence, and collaborating across organizational boundaries to improve supply support to DoD around the world.

I’m going to turn now to GSA programs and initiatives aimed at helping DoD achieve its mission.

Smartbuy

Over the last five years, GSA’s Smartbuy Program has developed a close partnership with the DoD Enterprise Software Initiative.

Through DoD software agreements that have been opened to civilian agencies and through agreements managed by GSA Smartbuy, this partnership has led to cost savings of over $133 million in fiscal 2007 and with FY 2008 cost savings projected to exceed that amount.

Data-at-Rest

One of the top successes of GSA’s partnership with DoD is the data-at-rest encryption software initiative that resulted in the award of 11 blanket purchase agreements against GSA IT schedules in June 2007.

These agreements serve to protect sensitive, unclassified data residing on government laptops, other mobile computing devices and removable storage media devices.

There have been over $17 million in purchases through these agreements since June 2007 with cost avoidance for our customers of almost $80 million.

Finally, I’d mention IT requirements to enhance warfighter support capabilities.

The Office of Network Services Programs has had a strong partnership with DoD. DoD is our largest Satcom II customer, spending over $18 million annually for satellite services. DoD is our second largest FTS2001 customer, spending over $130 million annually for network services such as, dedicated access, frame relay, voice/toll free services and managed network services. DoD plans to use Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise to the tune of over $150 million a year for voice and data service requirements for projects such as the Navy Marine Corp Intranet WAN and the National Weather Radar System.

As many of you know, OMB has issued guidance on agency use of Networx:

  • The DoD Chief Information Officer, at the direction of the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, conducted a cost benefit analysis evaluating the potential federal benefit to using GSA Networx Contract for information technology services.
  • OMB issued a memo advising that agencies shall use the Networx contract to satisfy requirements currently being met via the FTS2001 contract.
  • The memo said Networx can also assist agencies in meeting requirements of OMB M-08-05, implementation of trusted internet connections[1] (tic), which requires agencies to optimize individual external connections, including internet points of presence currently in use by the federal government.
  • This will improve the federal government’s incident response capability through the reduction of external connections.

As I wrap up, I’d like to discuss the federal government’s commitment to those who served in our armed forces.

In 2004, the President issued an Executive Order designed to strengthen opportunities in federal contracting for service-disabled veteran businesses.

GSA’s job under this order was to provide opportunities for disabled vets to get on our schedules, and to establish a government-wide acquisition contract reserved for small firms owned by service-disabled vets.

To help meet the intent of the Executive Order, we created the Veterans Technology Services Governmentwide Acquisition Contract and the Twenty-One Gun Salute.

The Vets GWAC

The Vets GWAC is a small business GWAC set-aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. It is a multiple award contract providing cutting edge technology solutions to federal agencies without the expense and time involved in open market set-aside procurements:

  • It opens doors for small, vet-owned tech firms;
  • It helps federal agencies achieve their small business goals;
  • Announced in December 22, 2006, it has awards to 44 companies, representing 256 service disabled and veteran-owned subcontractors and teaming partners;
  • There have been $145 million (estimated value $525m) dollars obligated on vets since award;
  • The total value of orders placed on the Vets GWAC through August 2008 is $525 million;
  • 13 federal agencies have used the Vets GWAC (including GSA); you can visit: www.gsa.gov/vetsgwac to obtain a complete list of industry partners and vets contract and pricing information.

Serving these brave Americans is one of GSA’s top priorities. We have almost tripled the percentage of dollars spent with businesses owned by service-disabled vets:

  • Based on preliminary numbers, GSA expects to exceed the 3% contracting goal for the first time in FY 2008;
  • 865 service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses on schedule;
  • In FY 2007, firms owned by service-disabled vets earned $789 million from orders thru GSA Schedules.

The Twenty-One Gun Salute

We also created the Twenty-One Gun Salute in response to the President’s Executive Order. Announced in March, the salute is an action plan designed to meet and exceed the 3 percent goal.

The strategy is to raise awareness among GSA buyers and contract officers; identify service-disabled veteran businesses that provide high-demand government products and services; assist those businesses in finding markets; establish a mentor program; partner with veterans’ organizations; and support business-to-business partnerships among businesses in this category.

The Twenty One Gun Salute focuses on awareness, advocacy, innovation, training, recognition, accountability and partnerships.

It’s working, and we’re glad. Service-disabled veterans continue to serve our nation, using their talents to help others, and developing successful businesses and creating jobs. They embody the message within another quote from coach wooden: “do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

In closing, let me repeat that we are extremely proud of the relationship GSA has with DoD. The long partnership between our agencies enables us to help DoD fulfill its critical mission of service for the American people. When we assist DoD, we feel a part of protecting our homeland, and of defending and spreading freedom, and of fighting the threat of terrorism wherever it surfaces.

As John Wooden said, "I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it - with their lives."

Thank you for having me today.

Thank you for listening.

And thank you for your support of team GSA.