Throughout the year, GSA evaluates its progress toward achievement of its strategic goals and objectives to identify challenges that stand in the way of, and opportunities that optimize, the ability to deliver on its mission. Using a cross-functional approach, GSA senior leaders identify and prioritize prospective risks to the enterprise. This process enables agency leaders to allocate resources and mitigation efforts toward key areas of concern and manage emerging risks prior to operational impact.
To strengthen its approach to the management of enterprise risks, GSA surveyed both senior executives and senior managers across GSA’s Central Office and the Regions to better understand their perception of risk to the organization over the next year. The insights from this effort provided top down feedback—corroborated at two levels of leadership—and a rich data set that was used to refine GSA’s Enterprise Risk Profile and identify opportunities for improvement. Leveraging data analytics, GSA will continue to review key risk data to prioritize actions on cross-cutting challenges. Focus areas from the FY 2020 enterprise risk management efforts include:
Cyber attacks and security vulnerabilities have the potential to bring down mission-critical systems and IT infrastructure. Cybersecurity is one of the most critical aspects of GSA IT’s program. To mitigate the threat, GSA is focusing beyond compliance on operational security, identifying and managing capability gaps. Continuous monitoring and review are in place to protect GSA’s systems from hackers and other cyber attacks.
- Human Capital
GSA consistently ranks as one of the top 10 best places to work among midsize Federal agencies. The technical nature of GSA’s work offers unique challenges to recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent. Based on analysis of the human capital risks identified in the 2019 Enterprise Risk Survey, GSA will continue to seek innovative solutions to develop and grow its workforce while identifying opportunities for performance and process improvement across the enterprise.
- Legacy Database Technologies
Reliance on proprietary legacy technologies adversely affects operational flexibilities and increases costs for GSA. To reduce the negative effects, GSA is leveraging the Technology Modernization Fund to support a multi-year transformation effort. GSA is shifting from proprietary to open source databases, which will simplify integrations with other systems. This will help applications achieve greater flexibility in their system architecture while improving resilience, scalability, maintainability, and performance.
- Federal Building Fund (FBF)
GSA is dependent on appropriations and authorizations to preserve and invest in the Government’s real estate assets. Reduced budgetary authority, spending less than the anticipated level of collection, for the FBF impedes GSA’s ability to fund critical repairs and improvements across its real estate portfolio. The result is avoidable increased costs due to delayed repairs and missed opportunities to consolidate space. Ensuring full access to the FBF allows GSA to effectively plan for investments in its owned portfolio, supports efforts to decrease the overall size of the leased portfolio, and generates significant savings over the long term.
Each of the risks described above, if not effectively managed, has the potential to hinder GSA’s ability to meet its objectives. Proactive leadership and an increased willingness to work across business units to manage risk promotes transparency and helps develop a proactive risk and opportunity culture. By identifying an accountable executive for each risk with the responsibility for tracking implementation of mitigation plans and strategies, GSA promotes accountability. Ensuring that critical risks are monitored by leveraging qualitative and quantitative information allows GSA to effectively align investments to mitigate key risks and strengthen operations, ultimately maximizing value to customer agencies and taxpayers.