GSA Committed to Backing Those Who Served
America recently paused to honor the sacrifice and valor of those who fight – and who have fought – for the ideals and freedoms our country has always held sacred. Memorial Day begins a season of remembrance. Through Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Patriot Day, the idea of memory, honor, and sacrifice is present in our hearts and minds.
The General Services Administration is committed to honoring our veterans. GSA, founded in 1949, is the federal government’s premiere procurement and property management agency, providing goods and services to our fellow agencies at best value. We manage more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influence the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,300 government-owned or leased buildings and 205,000 vehicles. Through governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) and other vehicles, GSA provides work-place solutions to federal agencies, enabling them to focus squarely on their core missions.
One GSA initiative I’m particularly proud of is the Veterans Technology Services GWAC, a multiple award contract set aside for technology firms owned by service-disabled veterans. This GWAC has a ceiling of $5 billion and is the first such contract specifically reserved for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
While parades and speeches are important, honoring those who served is more about deeds than words.
In the past six months, GSA has awarded over $500 million in federal contracts to service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. Since we believe in leading by example, this includes the award of a contract worth in excess of $200 million to an 8(A), service-disabled vet-owned firm to consolidate GSA information-technology services for our 15,000 employees and contractors.
Such efforts are getting noticed. The Veterans Business Journal recently included GSA among the top 10 federal agencies that support our nation’s veterans. As well, GSA conducted nine outreach and training conferences around the nation that targeted veteran-owned and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses. We will continue to conduct regularly scheduled training workshops in all GSA regions.
These GSA initiatives make sense for our country as well as our vets, by the way. When we expand economic opportunities for veterans, we’re drawing on men and women who know teamwork, discipline, cooperation, and mission accomplishment. We are honoring their sacrifices. As President Bush said at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day, “We pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they made.”
Expressing our gratitude and patriotism is important; so is expanding business opportunities for those who placed their personal welfare second to our national security.
For GSA, the season of remembrance is a year-round commitment.
Lurita Doan is Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration.