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March 20, 1997

Contact: Darlene Meskell
or Hap Connors

The Office of Property Management of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), has become the first government service organization to earn the prestigious, internationally recognized ISO 9000 registration as a quality organization. It is also the first public or private real estate organization to earn this designation.

GSA Acting Administrator David J. Barram will present the ISO 9000 registration certificate to the Property Management team in an ceremony April 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the GSA auditorium, 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC.

"This is an unprecedented achievement," Vice President Al Gore said in a statement issued by the National Performance Review (NPR), which is encouraging quality initiatives in Federal agencies. "By showing how to instill quality culture in a government organization, you are demonstrating the true spirit of reinvention."

"Property Management's accomplishment is an affirmation of the values of the National Performance Review and reinventing government," Barram said. "It is an important reminder to everyone that Government systems can be held to the same high standards of quality as the private sector."

Property Management, part of GSA's Public Buildings Service (PBS), operates 8,329 buildings occupied by Federal tenants. Property Management is responsible for the design, development and implementation of property management services for U.S. Government agencies and others who occupy space that is owned, leased, or operated by GSA. This national program has a budget of $1.5 billion.

ISO 9000 refers to a series of standards and guidelines that define the minimum requirements for an internationally accepted quality system. Registration is a kind of "quality assurance seal of approval" that an organization has implemented ISO guidelines, thoroughly documented those guidelines and continues to operate according to that documentation.

Typically, it takes two years or more for an organization to develop, document, and implement quality systems that meet the ISO 9000 criteria. Property Management completed this initiative in 18 months, further evidence of the quality organization it has developed. Its registration as an ISO 9000 organization was effective February 27.

"It's a real challenge to establish ISO 9000 systems in the Government. Being the first Federal agency to meet these stringent standards shows that we are a leader in our field," said Robert Peck, PBS Commissioner.

"We were able to achieve the same level of international recognition in terms of quality as the world's largest conglomerates," he added, noting that Property Management joins the ranks of major corporations like IBM, DuPont, Ford, and General Motors and more than 20,000 other U.S. organizations. ISO 9000 registration has become an increasingly important credential for organizations doing business in the United States and overseas.

Other Government organizations have received ISO-9000 registration, e.g., parts of the Coast Guard, NASA and the Department of Defense. Those organizations are classified under different standard industrial code (SIC) categories and their work is directly comparable to work performed in the private sector.

Property Management is the first organization classified as a "provider of general Government services" to have achieved this honor. It is also the first "operator of non-residential buildings" to do so.

Many companies choose to contract only with suppliers that are ISO-9000 registered. The Office of Property Management is looking to a future requirement for all suppliers and contractors to be ISO-9000 registered.

The Property Management ISO 9000 team was formed by former PBS Assistant Commissioner James F. Steele, Jr., now retired. Stewart J. Levy and Robert L. Buckley of the PBS Regional Support Division co-chaired the team.

Property Management was registered as an ISO 9000 organization by the independent firm of Kemper Registrar Services, Inc. of Flemington, NJ, following the 18-month process of implementing quality systems. The consulting firm Gunneson Group International helped the GSA organization prepare for registration.

For information about this and other GSA programs, visit our home page at

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30