The U.S. General Services Administration has always had the privilege of delivering better value and savings to the American people. Although the initiatives we pursue may change over time, our commitment to serving our partners, while building a stronger GSA, has remained steadfast. Over the course of this administration, GSA has proven our ability to be an innovative, active and adaptable agency.
In support of the agency’s vision for the future, we launched an initiative to focus on GSA’s potential to serve as a catalyst for economic development; an effort that aims to grow local economies by better aligning our building, leasing and relocation plans with community economic development goals. Aligned with initiatives such as Freeze the Footprint and the Recovery Act, we partnered with local communities and expanded opportunities for small businesses to deliver more value to the economy while getting a better deal for the taxpayer.
In coordination with this vision, we have relocated agencies in ways that reduce the federal footprint, save money, and boost growth in communities. A key example is in Kansas City, where we moved nearly 1,000 of our employees from an outdated and inefficient old federal complex to new, modern, and efficient office space downtown Kansas City, reducing our footprint by more than half — saving taxpayers $64 million over the life of the lease — while placing federal government offices precisely where local stakeholders sought to encourage development. Another example is in Fresno, CA, where GSA worked with a coalition of government agencies to help rebuild the downtown area. By moving the Social Security Administration office and its 4,300 monthly visitors into Fresno’s central business district, we encouraged greater use of public transit and boosted local businesses.
We also continued to make strides in helping the government to become a smarter, better buyer. We launched the Acquisition Gateway to help officials from all federal agencies find side-by-side comparisons of government-wide acquisition solutions, connect with other acquisition professionals and explore product and service category hallways. With strong support from our federal partners, the Acquisition Gateway surpassed 10,000 registered users in its first year. Additionally, GSA provided tools and support to Make It Easier for vendors to sell to the government. This includes the Startup Springboard enabling emerging startups to be included on our IT schedule sooner and the FASt Lane, which has cut the time it takes for technology vendors to get on schedule from 110 days to 31 days.
Throughout this administration, GSA has worked to dramatically improve the delivery of technology in government. Earlier this year, we established the Technology Transformation Service (TTS) to solidify these efforts. TTS was built from GSA’s creation of 18F, a “startup” in government designed to act as an in-house technology consultancy and incubator to dramatically rethink how agencies deliver IT. 18F’s approach allows agencies to test products incrementally, and adjust them along the way in order to precisely tailor them to their needs, instead of taking delivery of a final product that may or may not serve their mission. TTS has become the “launchpad” to set us up for the next big expedition for the federal government in technology, helping agencies more creatively deliver on their missions.
As GSA furthered its mission with the development of these initiatives and programs, we have also optimized our organization. To improve efficiencies, we consolidated administrative functions to eliminate duplicative, redundant administrative support offices within each division. GSA’s agency-wide consolidation has allowed for increased collaboration and innovation across business lines and greater oversight and accountability, providing more value to our customers.
All of this is just a snapshot of the work that we are carrying out on behalf of our partner agencies and the American people. In the years ahead, GSA remains committed to exploring new ways we can continue delivering the best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services for government and the American people. As the current administration comes to a close, I am certain that our ability to deliver on our mission will only grow stronger. I am excited to see the next round of GSA’s innovative solutions and am confident that our extraordinary public servants will continue to build on these efforts.