How GSA Benefits the Public
The year 2020 has been defined by the impact and challenges associated with the novel coronavirus and the global COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of these challenges, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) continued to advance its mission — delivering inventive, cost-effective, and collaborative solutions in real estate, acquisition, technology, and mission support services to the Government while saving the American taxpayer money.
GSA’s mission support role means that our work touches the entire Federal Government as well as some State, Tribal, and local governments. GSA’s important role in helping other agencies deliver on their missions, required us to quickly adapt our operations so that our partners could continue to provide essential services to the public. Because of GSA’s commitment to innovation and agility, and our continued adoption of modern business practices over time, we were able to quickly pivot to maximum telework in March, and have remained a mostly remote workforce ever since — with only about 4 percent of the workforce reporting to facilities on any given day. This has allowed GSA to change internal processes and procedures, meet new, unprecedented business demands, and maintain our commitment to providing better solutions and services for the American people, all of which are guided by our primary goals:
- 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
GSA benefits the public through its leadership in:
- Real Estate
- Technology Modernization
- Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- Supporting the President’s Management Agenda
- Enhancing Customer Experience
Throughout the 50 States, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, GSA manages the Federal Government’s real property inventory. Our real estate portfolio is one of the largest and most diversified in the Nation. We provide oversight of more than 370 million rentable square feet in 8,800 assets, including over 400 historic owned properties.
GSA provides value for the taxpayer by improving how owned and leased space is used and how leases are negotiated. We also provide high-quality facility and workspace solutions to more than 60 Federal agencies, dispose of excess or unneeded Federal properties, and promote the adoption of innovative workplace solutions and technologies.
Moreover, the Public Buildings Services’ Lease Cost Avoidance initiative, introduced three years ago, GSA avoided more than $3.5 billion in full-term lease costs from FY 2018 through FY 2020. Furthermore, over 70 percent of the value of the expiring lease portfolio was replaced in FY 2020, an improvement of more than 30 percent over the past three years.
We believe our people, systems, supplies, processes, and technology all work together to drive progress, save money, and help the Nation realize the benefits of our long-term and strategic investments.
GSA leverages the collective buying power of the Federal Government to acquire more than $75 billion in goods and services in support of agency customers. At the same time, GSA’s acquisition teams focus on reducing contract duplication, which allows customer agencies to more effectively use their resources to fulfill their missions. For example, category management is a Government-wide initiative, managed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and supported by GSA, which allows the Government to buy smarter by segmenting its spend into groups of related products or services, enabling consolidation and efficiency. Since its 2014 launch, the category management program has saved the Federal Government approximately $40 billion.
Our Federal Marketplace Strategy (FMP) is another facet of our acquisitions strategy and is designed to create a seamless, people-centric buying and selling experience. In support of FMP, GSA consolidated 24 multiple award contract schedules into a single contract vehicle that provides consistent terms and conditions and simplifies the procurement process for buyers (agencies) and sellers (industry).
On October 1, 2019, GSA took a giant step forward in online leasing with the deployment of its Requirement Specific Acquisition Platform (RSAP). The implementation of RSAP aligns with GSA’s strategic goals to leverage our purchasing power in the most cost-effective manner and to improve our internal operations through the use of technology. This new platform will save taxpayers money by minimizing the cost of leasing to both the private sector and the Federal Government.
GSA operates the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence to help agencies improve the public’s experience with Government by obtaining and sharing technology applications, platforms, and processes to make agencies’ services more accessible, efficient, and effective.
The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is another example of how GSA is leading Government-wide technology modernization initiatives. FedRAMP enables the Federal Government to accelerate the adoption of cloud technology by creating transparent security standards and processes for security authorizations that are leveraged on a Government-wide scale.
GSA spearheads other key initiatives including the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program and cloud.gov. The EIS acquisition vehicle serves as a one-stop shop for Federal agencies to obtain infrastructure modernization for telecommunications and information technology. Through cloud. gov’s server infrastructure management, GSA offers a fast way for Federal agencies to host and update websites and other applications thus allowing agencies to focus on developing mission-critical applications.
GSA is also implementing measures to protect citizens’ data within the IT solutions we make available to our customer agencies. By implementing comprehensive cybersecurity and supply chain risk management practices, programs, and policies, GSA is working with private sector suppliers to ensure the integrity and security of our Nation’s IT infrastructure.
Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
GSA has a long-standing commitment to supporting and advising our Nation’s small business community. For their benefit, we expanded our outreach to include urgently needed virtual town halls and training seminars, which informed and educated thousands of small businesses about the Federal procurement process and how to engage with the Federal Government. In addition, we support the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities tool (FBF.gov), which is a Nationwide resource providing small business owners access to upcoming Federal contracting opportunities.
Supporting the President’s Management Agenda
GSA’s internal successes have led to our agency being tapped to co-lead two very important Government-wide initiatives. The first, Cross-Agency Goal 5: Sharing Quality Services, prioritizes the design and delivery of expanded shared services within GSA and across the Federal Government to continue to improve performance and save taxpayer money. GSA was named the Quality Service Management Office for Civilian HR Transaction Services, which includes compensation management, work schedule and leave management. We are currently in the early planning stage of bringing technical expertise and business solutions to the Government that allow our partners to leverage their collective buying power, and drive commonality while ensuring that the momentum comes from agency partners.
GSA has also focused significant efforts to shift time, effort, and funding from low-value to high-value work, in support of Cross-Agency Priority Goal 6: Shifting From Low-Value to High-Value Work. Through the elimination of unnecessary processes, the optimization and streamlining of tasks, and workload automation through robotic process automation (RPA) and the Eliminate, Optimize, Automate (EOA) initiative, GSA has made noteworthy progress. Two years into our RPA journey, we have developed and deployed more than 70 RPA applications across multiple business functions. These applications tackle tasks as diverse as modifying contracts, reconciling leases, and providing status updates to prospective employees and they allow GSA to reclaim more than 240,000 work hours every year. Through EOA, GSA has identified nearly 650,000 hours of workload reduction opportunities and created more than 400,000 hours of capacity across GSA support functions. GSA’s strong success supporting agency partners led to the creation of the Federal RPA and Artificial Intelligence communities of practice, which share best practices and lessons learned across Government.
These efforts provide a foundational direction for the Federal Government as a whole, creating an environment that continues to produce cutting-edge tools for the benefit of the American people.
Enhancing Customer Experience
From our earliest days, we have worked to simplify and improve the customer experience, and to ensure Government customer agencies receive access to emerging technologies and innovative offerings as soon as possible.
Through an agency-wide customer experience management platform, we are consolidating related efforts across the agency, reducing duplication, and creating a streamlined experience for feedback providers. Managed by our Office of Customer Experience, the platform makes it easier to collect, access, and analyze customer feedback data, revealing how GSA can better support customers. We will align operations to meet customer needs, thus supporting GSA’s mission by helping customers get access to the right resources and services at the right time.
Nearly 100 million times in FY 2020, GSA connected people with trustworthy Government information through USA.gov, the official website for the Federal Government, and its sister site, in Spanish, USA.gov/Espanol.
Since it began almost 50 years ago, USAGov has proven itself as a reliable resource through changing times, offering the Nation official and trusted guidance. Recently, USAGov implemented a bilingual Interactive Voice Response to help as call center inquiries increased more than 60 percent related to COVID-19. The program created self-service options and reduced wait times to speak to an agent and the need for agent assistance.
At all levels, GSA prides itself on providing innovative technology, workplace solutions, and acquisition expertise to meet the evolving needs of its agency customers, stakeholders, and U.S. citizens.
Our passion is delivering effective customer solutions and creating long-term value for the Federal Government. We remain mission-focused and look forward to continuing to deliver value and savings and providing innovative technology, real estate, acquisition, and shared services across the Federal Government.