Letter from the Acting Administrator
As acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), I am proud to present the GSA Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Agency Financial Report (AFR), which details our accomplishments and challenges in program and financial management over the past year. The audit opinion and financial results reported in the AFR verify that GSA financial operations comply with the U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance, federal financial regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles.
During this time of shrinking federal budgets, GSA's mission of providing value to both the American taxpayer and the agencies of the federal government is more important than ever before. That is why over the past year, GSA has taken significant steps towards transforming ourselves into a recognized leader in effective and efficient public service.
To realize this goal, GSA conducted a rigorous top to bottom review to examine how we can best fulfill our mission in the future. As part of this process, we conducted interviews and meetings with agency employees, both one-on-one and with the leadership of the two dozen major operating units within GSA to discuss strategy, operations, and human capital. We also looked beyond the federal government and met with business leaders in procurement and real estate to identify best practices from comparable private-sector business models. At the same time, we performed exhaustive analysis of financial and performance data within the agency, as well as careful studies of Inspector General and GAO reports. Finally, we held more than a dozen meetings with other federal agencies to solicit their feedback in order to identify areas where GSA can provide greater savings. As a result of this comprehensive review, GSA has instituted numerous changes and improvements to ensure that we are meeting our responsibilities to the American people and to other federal agencies.
We are already seeing results. Our clarified guidelines and oversight for travel and conferences have saved more than $11 million in taxpayer funds. At the same time, we have instituted mandatory training to ensure that every GSA employee is aware of what is and is not acceptable at conferences. GSA is also freezing the current federal per diem travel reimbursement rates, keeping FY 2013 reimbursement rates at FY 2012 levels. This step will result in an anticipated $20 million in avoided costs in FY 2013, helping to meet the administration's directives to reduce governmentwide travel costs. In addition, GSA is evaluating our acquisition service fee structure, saving millions of dollars for the rest of the federal government.
We will also streamline the organization by consolidating a number of agency functions under the direction of three agency-wide executives. Substantially all budget, finance, and accounting personnel will now fall under the authority of the Chief Financial Officer; information technology personnel, budgets, and systems will now be managed by the Chief Information Officer; and all human capital management personnel and operations will be overseen by our Chief People Officer.
In FY 2012, GSA made strides in both fiscal management and management reforms as we:
- Supported our veterans by spending 4 percent of our contract dollars on Service-Disabled Veteran- Owned Small Business, a full percentage point above the congressionally mandated goal, following an aggressive agency-wide training and outreach campaign.
- Identified $240 million in federal vehicle cost savings government-wide, over four years, in support of the Presidential Memorandum on Federal Fleet Performance by helping agencies to optimize fleet profiles through the GSA-developed Vehicle Allocation Methodology.
- Implemented new policies and systems to evaluate and approve conferences and travel. Through these changes, we have canceled 47 conferences and reduced travel budgets, saving $11 million.
- Expanded the total number of sites using USASearch to nearly 1,200. In FY 2012 over 500 new websites added the USASearch feature to their site. Total annual cost avoidance across government from using USASearch is estimated at $20M. USASearch powers more than 350,000 searches each day, with fast, relevant results that deliver superior customer experience.
- PBS disposed of 110 government real property assets, including 11 assets from its own portfolio, during FY 2012, generating $34 million in proceeds.
- The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) for Domestic Delivery Services generated cost savings of $38 million for 153 federal customers, by analyzing spending patterns, leveraging purchasing power, and sharing best practices.
Financial Systems and Performance Data Assurances
As outlined in the Management Assurances section of this report, GSA conducted its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over operations, systems, and financial reporting. GSA can provide reasonable assurance that internal controls were operating effectively in each of these areas. More detail on this topic is in the Management Assurances section of this report.
Throughout the year, our senior managers assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations by analyzing financial and performance data. Management relies on this data to identify material inadequacies in financial and program performance areas and to identify corrective actions needed to resolve them. As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, I have assessed the financial and performance data used in this report, and believe it to be complete and reliable.
November 9, 2012