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Frequently Asked Questions

Acquisition of Parking
  1. How should agencies acquire parking facilities?

    Agencies having a need for parking must first use available government-controlled owned or leased facilities. Agencies must inquire with GSA regional offices about the availability of government-controlled space. If no suitable government-controlled parking is available from GSA, an agency may use its own procurement authority to acquire parking by service contract.

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Alternative Financing
  1. What is Alternative Financing?

    Alternative Financing uses private-sector resources (i.e.,capital, education, and skills) to provide a more efficient and cost effective means of providing either the same or better level of service, at a cost-savings to the public. A contractual relationship between the public and private sectors closely governs the agreement under which Alternative Financing operates, with the goal of using the best skills and capabilities of each sector.

  2. What federal agencies have the authority to use Alternative Financing?
    • Department of Defense uses Alternative Financing to modernize, renovate and expand base housing opportunities for military families
    • Department of Veterans Affairs uses enhanced-use leasing, a type of Alternative Financing, to provide quality health care to Veterans
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration uses enhanced-use leasing to promote and support space travel and
    • United States Postal Service uses Alternative Financing to provide efficient and low cost mail service
  3. How many federal projects are using Alternative Financing?

    Approximately one-hundred-seven (107) federal projects either are completed, underway, or planned using Alternative Financing.

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Automated External Defibrillators
  1. What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

    An AED is a device used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Built-in computers assess the patient's heart rhythm, judge the need for defibrillation, and then administer the shock. Audible and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process.

  2. What is the purpose of the Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in federal facilities?

    These guidelines provide a general framework for initiating a design process for public access defibrillation (PAD) programs in federal facilities. The guidelines are aimed at outlining key PAD program elements so that facility-specific, detailed plans and programs can be developed in an informed manner.

  3. Do the guidelines require the installation of automated external defibrillators in federal facilities?

    No. Neither the guidelines published in the Federal Register nor the law enacted by Congress (Public Law 106-505) require the installation of defibrillators in federal facilities.

  4. How would federal agencies go about acquiring the AEDs?

    Agencies can acquire AEDs from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Acquisition Center, which administers the Federal Supply Schedule for medical unit items. Agencies can obtain more information concerning the purchase of AEDs from the National Acquisition Center at (708) 786-5247. (GSA delegated authority to the Department of Veterans Affairs over 30 years ago to administer medical unit items on the Federal Supply Schedule).

  5. What organizations can provide medical oversight for our PAD program?

    AEDs are medical devices to be used under the advice and consent of a physician only by individuals with the proper training and certification. Therefore, medical oversight is an essential component of PAD programs. Agencies can obtain more information concerning the development of public access defibrillation programs from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Occupational Health (FOH) at (303) 236-0076, ext. 527.

  6. Do people need training to operate an AED?

    Yes. While it is difficult to use an AED improperly, AEDs are not without risks. AEDs are prescription devices that are intended to be operated only by individuals who have received proper training and within a system, which integrates all aspects from first responder care to hospital care.

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Delegated Leasing Authority
  1. How does a federal agency exercise this delegated authority?

    A federal agency wishing to exercise the delegated leasing authority submit a request for authorization, in writing, to the GSA Director for Real Estate Acquisition Division, Public Buildings Service, 1800 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20405. The request may also be submitted electronically to The delegation request must provide the information specified in paragraph 5(a) of FMR Bulletin 2008-B1, Delegations of Lease Acquisition Authority. FMR Bulletin 2008-B1 can be viewed from the Open Policy Resource Center, selecting FMR Reference and clicking on Delegation of Authority.

  2. What requirements are there for federal agency's staff exercising the delegation of authority?

    Federal agencies must ensure that their lease contracting staff is properly trained to execute a lease contact. The five basic courses for officers, officials, and employees must fully meet the experience and training requirements of the contracting officer warrant program as specified in Section 501.603--1 of General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM).

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Smoking in Federal Buildings

  1. What is the policy on smoking in federal buildings?

    The President issued an Executive Order 13058, "Protecting Federal Employees and the Public from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in the Federal Workplace," on August 9, 1997, establishing a smoke-free environment for federal employees and members of the public visiting or using federal facilities. In furtherance of EO13058, GSA issued FMR Amendment 2008-08, which enforces additional restrictions in GSA-controlled buildings.

  2. Is smoking banned in all federal space?

    The Executive Order bans smoking in all Executive Branch facilities, all interior space owned, rented, or leased space by the Executive Branch of the federal government.

  3. Are there any exceptions to this ban?

    There are certain excepted spaces, which include:

    • designated smoking areas. However, effective June 19, 2009, designated smoking areas in GSA-controlled buildings will be eliminated.
    • residential accommodations in buildings owned, leased, rented by the federal government;
    • portions of federally-owned buildings leased, rented, or otherwise provided (in their entirety) to non-federal parties; and
    • places of employment in the private sector or in other non-federal governmental units that serve as the permanent or intermittent duty station of one or more federal employees.

  4. What about outside areas, such as around doorways and air intake ducts?

    The Executive Order does not apply to outdoor areas under Executive Branch control, except in front of air intake ducts. In the case of locations such as doorways and in courtyards, agency heads shall evaluate the need to restrict smoking in order to protect workers and visitors from environmental tobacco smoke, and may restrict smoking in these areas. In furtherance of EO13058, effective 6/19/09, smoking is banned in courtyards and within 25 feet of doorways on GSA-controlled properties.

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