How GSA Benefits the Public

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Nearly seven decades ago, President Truman created GSA, which consolidated administrative functions across government into one organization in order to avoid duplication, reduce cost, streamline the acquisition and distribution of supplies, and centralize the management of federal buildings.

Over the subsequent seven decades, the nation’s population has more than doubled, the price of real estate in major cities has skyrocketed, and supercomputers have gone from filling three-story rooms to fitting in our pockets. The world has become vastly more interconnected. Federal agencies are striving to match the pace of change, evolving to meet new domestic and global challenges while better serving the American people.

What has not changed is GSA’s unwavering commitment to support federal customers and stakeholders by providing cost-effective, high-quality services. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisitions, and technology to government and the American people.

GSA provides the space, technical innovation, and goods and services essential to operate the federal government. We provide workplaces by constructing, managing, and preserving government buildings, and by leasing and managing commercial real estate. Our acquisition solutions offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology to government organizations and the military. Our technology leadership helps agencies build, buy and share technology in ways that support their missions to better serve the public. Our implementation of governmentwide policies promotes management best practices and efficient government operations.

Our success relies on bringing together a talented and diverse workforce - including data scientists, real estate experts, architects, acquisition professionals, technologists, policy analysts - and building a cohesive, customer-focused team. GSA helps other federal agencies more successfully accomplish their missions in service to the American people.


Screenshot of Acquisition Gateway Homepage
The Acquisition Gateway provides online tools to agencies for best in class solutions.

GSA provides federal agencies over 28 million different products and services, and annually delivers over $54 billion in information technology products, services and solutions, telecommunications services, assisted acquisition services, travel and transportation management solutions, motor vehicles and fleet services, and charge card services. GSA oversees more than 200,000 vehicles, manages over 3.3 million charge cards, and provides personal property disposal services facilitating the reuse of $1 billion in excess/surplus property annually.

The federal government is the single largest buyer in the world, with annual spending on goods and services close to $450 billion a year. Leveraging this enormous buying power, GSA helps agencies buy better and smarter by giving them tools to buy like a business and save taxpayer money while maintaining or improving small business participation. A significant example of this responsibility was this year’s announced awards for the new Enterprise Infrastructure Solution (EIS) contract. EIS is a governmentwide contract offering federal agencies mission-critical telecommunications, infrastructure, and information technology services. EIS was designed to provide secure government telecommunications infrastructure services in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) security policies. EIS is the fourth generation of GSA contracts that delivers telecommunications services to the federal government.

Another way that we accomplish leveraged acquisition is through category management, a common commercial buying method that fundamentally shifts the government’s approach from managing purchases and prices individually across thousands of procurement units to managing entire categories of spending collaboratively across government. In support of category management, GSA created the Acquisition Gateway, providing online tools to agencies to help them find best-in-class solutions, thus creating an average savings of five to twenty percent. This year, the Gateway registered 15,000 users several months ahead of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 target. Government use of category management solutions, with enhanced access through the Acquisition Gateway, is expected to save five billion dollars this year.


Technology based image focused on the word, Automation.
GSA is leading the federal government in technological innovation.

We are in an era of massive technological innovation across government, and GSA is a recognized leader in this arena. We were the first federal agency to move to the cloud; founded and deployed 18F—the federal government’s first tech “startup” venture— to enable agencies to rapidly deploy easy-to-use, cost-efficient and reusable digital tools, services, and expertise. GSA provides services, personnel and software solutions to federal agencies in an effort to help the agencies better serve the public.

In order to continue leading federal technology innovation, we are focused on excellence across four overarching areas:

  • Improving our core technology offerings
  • Helping fellow government agencies overcome barriers to innovation
  • Helping the federal government become a smarter buyer
  • Remaining vigilant in the area of cybersecurity, given its centrality to the success of everything else we do technologically

An innovative, digital government uses new technologies to make a real difference in people’s lives. It allows us to address complex challenges using all available tools (policy, technology, talent, private sector partners). Technology innovations also allow citizens to engage with government in new, improved, and more efficient ways.

Real Estate

Photo of Tuscaloosa Federal Building and Courthouse
Tuscaloosa Federal Building and Courthouse

With more than 370 million rentable square feet (RSF) in 8,600 active assets, GSA administers one of the largest and most diversified real estate portfolios in the world. GSA manages assets throughout 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Within this inventory, there are more than 500 owned and leased historic properties. GSA provides high-quality facility and workspace solutions to every executive branch department and agency, the federal court system and many congressional offices; disposes of excess, unutilized or unneeded federal properties; and promotes the adoption of innovative workplace solutions and technologies. Through lease and purchase transactions, we deliver the workspace necessary to meet the varied missions of federal agencies.

GSA is reducing our under-utilized assets. Last year, Congress passed the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act (FASTA) to encourage landholding agencies to reduce the number of under-utilized properties from their inventory. We view this law as a valuable tool that provides incentives to agencies to be more efficient and effective in their management of real property, improves the federal real property disposal process, and streamlines the process for identifying and disposing of properties.

From FY 2013 through FY 2017, GSA disposed of 985 properties across the federal government, generating $351 million in gross sales proceeds. Earlier this year, GSA disposed of the Cotton Annex building in Washington, D.C., a $30 million sale resulting in a cost avoidance to the federal government.

Improved Internal Operations: Service Consolidation

At a time when GSA is adapting to new challenges in a difficult fiscal environment, we must make the most out of the resources at our disposal. That is why we place a premium on operational efficiency and rationality throughout the agency.

GSA has continued to focus on making internal operations more efficient. We undertook a thorough internal review to remove duplication and maximize enterprise services during the CXO Consolidation. Internal information technology, finance, human resources, administrative and communications functions were consolidated into single business units serving the rest of the agency. By bringing these services together, we expect to provide more consistent services to GSA as a whole, making us stronger and better able to carry out our mission.

To cite the most salient of our many improvements on the administrative services front, we consolidated internal procurement, closed award stores, consolidated conference planning and travel approvals, consolidated the number and management of printers, mandated agency-wide use of the highly efficient Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies, reduced purchase card holders across the agency, implemented single stores for office supplies, and consolidated GSA forms.

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GSA is focused on operational efficiency and continued improvement in enterprise services


Whether in the Public Buildings Service, Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) including our technology innovation hubs, or in internal operations, the women and men of GSA understand and take immense pride in meeting the totality of our federal customers’ needs, and those of the American people. Wherever GSA is present, there’s a passion for delivering actionable solutions and an intense pride in having a lasting, positive impact on the communities for which and in which we work.

Image of GSA 2017, Annual Take your Child to Work Day.
GSA 2017, Annual Take your Child to Work Day
Last Reviewed: 2021-10-14