Letter from the Administrator
The U.S General Services Administration (GSA) is required to submit an annual agency financial report (AFR) that outlines GSA’s progress towards reliably delivering cost-effective real estate, acquisition, technology and shared services to the Federal departments and agencies it serves.
If this were any other year, I would be focusing on a number of GSA’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 successes including:
- Avoiding approximately $1.45 billion in lease costs for customer agencies;
- Consolidating over 99 percent of Federal supply schedule contracts into a single solicitation during the fiscal year;
- Scoring an “A +” rating on the December 2019 and August 2020 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecards; and
- Receiving an “A+” rating on the annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for fiscal year 2019, and for the first time ever in FY 2020, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) made more than $1 billion in direct awards to small businesses.
However, this year has been unlike any other in our agency’s 71 year history, as the United States and the world continues to manage the challenges of a global pandemic. While the agency has been operating in a maximum telework posture since mid-March, GSA has continued to deliver on its mission and four strategic goals, which are:
- Saving taxpayer money through better management of Federal real estate;
- Establishing GSA as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the Federal Government;
- Improving the way Federal agencies buy, build, and use technology; and
- Designing and delivering expanded shared services within GSA and across the federal government to improve performance and save taxpayer money
In the beginning of the health pandemic, more than 95 percent of GSA employees seamlessly transitioned to remote work, and our agency successfully adopted innovative tools and platforms to creatively connect with partners, vendors, and colleagues. I want to express great appreciation for our team members who have been on the front-lines during the pandemic, helping to keep our government open and fully functioning; they have my deepest gratitude.
In FY 2020, GSA addressed numerous COVID-19 incidents in GSA owned and leased facilities. In addition, GSA created three websites that were quickly set up for agency partners and American citizens to access important information to receive services and do business with our agency, including; gsa.gov/covid19, digital.gov/coronavirus, and usa.gov/coronavirus. As an active partner in the Government response to combat the health crisis precipitated by COVID-19, GSA assisted our Federal, State and local partners by coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Administration leadership. GSA also provided direct COVID-19 support to the nation, including:
- Repurposed CenturyLink Field in Seattle to be used as a field hospital, delivered 11,144 hospital cots and beds, and resupplied two United States Navy Hospital Ships (the Mercy and the Comfort) in record time for deployment in Los Angeles, CA and New York City, NY.
- Assisted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) INFO’s response to an increase of more than 78,000 weekly calls and 26,000 weekly emails since the program declared a surge in call/ email volumes in late January 2020. In total, FAS has helped CDC respond to more than 690,000 calls and 200,500 emails since the beginning of the calendar year.
- Procured or delivered over 51 million protective gloves, 41.3 million cleaning wipes, 509,400 masks and face shields, 550,000 gallons of disinfectant and cleaning solutions, 361,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 208,350 meals ready-to-eat (MREs), 51,100 disposable protective coveralls, 6,550 laptops for agency partners, 87,600 infrared thermometers, and 47 ventilators.
- GSA’s Office of Customer and Stakeholder Engagement worked with the Northeast and Caribbean Supply Acquisition Center to provide 50,000 face shields for local healthcare staff at two New York City hospitals, in Flushing and Jamaica, Queens.
FAS’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS) has been instrumental in supporting major Government-wide efforts. This team provided timely and authoritative guidance to the public and fellow Federal agencies. Since standing up the usa.gov and usa.gov/espanol coronavirus websites, we have received nearly 4 million unique page views to these pages. At the USAGov contact center, call volume from March through May 2020 surged to over 218,000 inquiries which is nearly double the number of inquiries when compared to March through May 2019. TTS also implemented Interactive Voice Response systems providing automated information in English and Spanish about non-COVID related inquiries during this time which helped ensure timely and consistent information sharing. Login.gov supported the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
GSA has supported the COVID-19 pandemic response through acquisition. In FY 2020, GSA awarded over 25,000 contract actions in support of the pandemic response, and about 68 percent of those contract actions went to small businesses. Small businesses also received just over 54 percent of the dollars GSA spent in response to COVID-19 during FY 2020.
While we have helped facilitate and support national COVID-19 response efforts, GSA has continued to deliver on its mission to support agency customers, contract workers, and deliver results for stakeholders. In addition to achievements in acquisition and real estate, and achieving top scores on the FITARA and Small Business Procurement scorecards, GSA received the Quality Services Management Offices designation for NewPay, and the staff offices continue to improve their performance across the agency. The Office of Human Resources Management, in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office of Mission Assurance, created a highly effective virtual onboarding process to successfully add new employees to ensure GSA could continue to deliver on our mission.
In the Management Assurances section of the AFR, GSA assessed the effectiveness of internal controls over operations, systems, and reporting. GSA can provide reasonable assurance that internal controls operated effectively in each of these areas throughout the year. The agency’s senior management relies on these internal controls to identify material weakness in financial and program performance areas, and to identify corrective actions as required. In accordance with the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, I’ve assessed the financial and performance data used in this report and believe them to be complete and reliable. As in FY 2019, GSA does not have any material weaknesses in its internal controls.
More than 71 years after President Harry S. Truman created GSA, we continue to innovate; eliminate senseless duplication, excess cost, and confusion in handling supplies; and provide space across the Federal Government. As we work through the unique challenges currently facing our agency and country, our commitment to GSA’s mission has never been more important to the agency customers and American citizens we serve.
Emily W. Murphy
November 13, 2020