GSA hosts acquisition training, outreach program with San Diego County
By Drew Jack
Pictured left to right: Jack Pellegrino, Linda Allen, Randy Patterson, and Mark Carico.
GSA is well known for the support and services we provide federal agencies, but did you know that we also support state and local governments with purchasing and donation programs? Nationwide program sales to state and local governments approached $1 billion in fiscal year 2014, growing 22 percent from the previous year. In the state of California alone, our agency has donated in the last two years nearly 800 items whose original acquisition cost exceeded $113 million. By leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government, GSA is helping counties, cities, and school districts meet their missions while reducing costs and maximizing efficiency.
On August 18, 2015, we conducted our first-ever local acquisition training and outreach program with San Diego County that included participants from neighboring Imperial County. The goal of the training was to educate the approximately 30 local city and county program and contracting officials that attended on the federal resources available to support their needs. It was also a forum to tout GSA’s efforts in sustainability and one of our star donation programs called Computers for Learning (CFL) that enables schools and nonprofit educational organizations to obtain excess IT equipment from federal agencies.
Regional Commissioner for GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, Linda Allen, kicked off the event by sharing several great examples of our state and local programs in action: GSA helped the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association establish a Blanket Purchase Agreement for structural firefighting clothing expected to net $2.2 million over five years and save participating purchasers 13 percent off GSA Schedule prices; we migrated Ventura County’s two-decades-old email system to the cloud, freeing $860,000 for other critical purchases; and we donated a two-story, 63,000-gallon water tank to the city of Nogales, Ariz. after it was no longer needed to support a GSA construction project in the area.
“I hope that the day’s event is just the beginning of developing future business opportunities between local cities, counties, and GSA,” said Jack Pellegrino, who directs purchasing and contracting for San Diego County.
Training on state and local purchasing programs, which included a comprehensive overview of GSA’s e-tools, was conducted by Mark Carico, Customer Service Director and Acting National Account Manager. Randy Patterson, Area Property Officer with the Personal Property Management Division, presented on personal property sales, utilization and donation, including CFL.
"GSA is fostering and growing our relationships with local and county government offices, while showing them how to make smart government purchases and go green by re-utilization of excess government personal property,” said Patterson when describing the event.