Statement from the Administrator June 5, 2006

Posted June 6, 2006

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) grew from the findings of the 1948 Hoover Commission, which took a hard look at the administrative functions of government during that era and found unnecessary duplication, excessive costs, and confusion in handling supplies and providing space.

When President Harry Truman argued for a new agency to alleviate these conditions, he told Congress, “The present arrangements, which have been developed under piecemeal legislation dating as far back as 1870, are inadequate to meet the present requirements of the government.”

Fifty-seven years later, GSA is in the midst of a major reorganization, one that will return us to President Truman’s vision of a world-class purchasing agency that utilizes best practices in government contracting, and which serves as an example and resource to other agencies.

That is the organization I pledged to build when President George W. Bush asked me to become GSA’s 18th Administrator. Among other goals, I intend to establish quantitative performance metrics to show how GSA services stack up. This means more transparency. It means we will track the time to contract, costs, and compliance with procurement regulations. It means knowing our customers better, and that means more face-to-face visits.

Superior customer service is the target. To hit the bull’s-eye, we must work harder and smarter to understand - and anticipate - the needs of those who do business with GSA.

Utilizing the expertise of GSA’s dedicated 12,000-plus nationwide workforce, I intend to show that GSA can provide services quantifiably better, faster, and save taxpayers’ dollars. Achieving these objectives is important, as a higher-performing GSA will enable government agencies to refocus scarce management and contracting resources on their core issues.

I began as a small businesswoman and remain an unabashed entrepreneur. As such, I believe strongly that an organization either succeeds or fails based on its ability to inspire personal initiative and get people to work toward common goals.

I’m also a strong believer that government should do a better job of tapping the energy and creativity of America’s small businesses. Many of these firms produce the innovative, transformational solutions that the government seeks, and the GSA Schedule is often the first government contract for these businesses. I will work to expedite the time required to award a GSA schedule.

In the end, our common goal is the same today as it was more than five decades ago when GSA was created. As articulated in our mission statement, GSA helps federal agencies better serve the public by offering - at best value - superior workplaces, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies.

We will tackle that mission as any entrepreneur would – with energy, and with a willingness to evolve into an organization that can best serve our customers and the American public.

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