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GSA’s Role in Presidential Transitions


The transfer of power from one Administration to the next marks a significant moment in U.S. history. Since 1963, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has held a prominent role in the peaceful transition of authority between the incoming and outgoing Administrations. As transition-focused legislation has been amended to improve the presidential transition process, GSA’s role has grown and evolved. During a Presidential transition, GSA will prepare to provide support to the eligible candidates, President-elect and Vice-President-elect, Inter-agency Transition, Presidential Inauguration, and the outgoing President and Vice-President. Support for the President-elect and Vice-President-elect and the outgoing President and Vice-President are only provided in the event of a change of Administration.

Support to the Eligible Candidates

GSA provides, upon request, services and facilities to each eligible candidate for use in preparing to assume their official duties. Those services and facilities include suitable office space appropriately equipped with furniture, furnishings, office and IT equipment, and incidental office supplies.

Support to the President-elect and Vice-President-elect

GSA provides, upon request, services and facilities to each President-elect and Vice-President-elect for use in preparing to assume their official duties. Those services and facilities include: a suitable office space appropriately equipped with furniture, furnishings, office and IT equipment, office supplies, parking, fleet vehicles, and mail management; payment of compensation for office staffs; payment of expenses for the procurement of experts or consultants and communication services; and payment of travel, subsistence, printing, postal, and other expenses as necessary and appropriate. These services are only provided in the event of a change of Administration.

Support for Inter-agency Transition

GSA, through the Federal Transition Coordinator, ensures that the Federal Government has an integrated strategy for addressing inter-agency challenges and responsibilities around Presidential transitions and turnover of non-career appointees. Guidance is provided to agencies in gathering briefing materials and information relating to the Presidential transition that may be requested by eligible candidates.

Support for the Presidential Inauguration

The GSA provides, upon request, services and facilities to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), and other governmental entities in support of the Presidential Inauguration. Such services include space, communication systems, IT support, financial management, telephones, parking, furniture, vehicles, office equipment, mail management, and administrative support services.

Support to the Outgoing President and Vice-President

The GSA provides, upon request, services and facilities in support of the transition of each outgoing President and Vice-President. Those services and facilities include space, communication systems, IT support, financial management, human resources management, telephones, parking, furniture, vehicles, office equipment, mail management, and administrative support services (such as payroll, financial services, and contracting). The GSA also works with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as necessary, to provide support to the former Presidents in the establishment and maintenance of their libraries. These services are only provided in the event of a change of Administration.

Last Reviewed: 2020-12-23