How GSA Benefits the Public

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Agency Financial Report 2013

How GSA Benefits the Public

GSA was established on July 1, 1949, as a result of the Hoover Commission's recommendation that consolidating administrative functions across government into one organization would be more effective and economical for the government and would avoid "senseless duplication, excess cost, and confusion in handling supplies, and providing space." Today, GSA continues to make government more effective and economical by providing savings to federal departments and agencies, improving the efficiency of operations and service delivery, and delivering excellent customer service. GSA benefits the public through delivering the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.

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GSA has an annual business volume of over $60 billion and manages over 200,000 fleet vehicles. GSA also manages buildings for the entire federal government a significant portfolio that included 9,184 owned or leased assets, more than 375 million rentable square feet of workspace, and 471 historic properties. At a time when budgets are shrinking across the federal government, GSA is providing the value that our partner agencies need so that they can focus their resources on fulfilling their own important missions to the American people.

GSA is currently focusing on six priorities to ensure that we fulfill our mission and best serve the American people.

Delivering Better Value and Savings

By using the purchasing power of the federal government, GSA works to drive down prices, deliver better value, and reduce costs to our partner agencies. As the federal government's acquisition agency, GSA connects federal purchasers with the most cost-effective and high-quality commercial products and services. Through the buying power of the federal government GSA negotiates leases that are more than 10 percent below market rates, on average. Nationally, GSA's vacancy rate is 4.3 percent, far below the private sector average of 16.9 percent.1

GSA also worked to support the President and Congress' directive to Freeze the Federal Footprint. As a part of this effort, GSA's Total Workplace initiative is providing resources and expertise to encourage federal agencies to reduce their office space, foster collaboration, better manage information technology spending, and increase energy efficiency. Ultimately, in a time of shrinking budgets, this initiative will save taxpayer dollars and allow agencies to invest more in their missions and better serve the American people.

GSA was able to deliver $1.37 billion in savings in FY 2013 to federal customers by providing technology solutions at prices that are below prices available from other sources. Our focus on streamlining operations in the Global Supplies and Services Portfolio enabled this program to reduce its markup in FY 2013 by 1.3 percent from the FY 2012 level.

GSA is committed to delivering the best savings and service for its partners. That is why we are committed to increasing our market share of the government's business. The more agencies we purchase for, the more we are able to drive down prices and create savings for all of our partner agencies.

One example of this is GSA's strategic sourcing initiative. Strategic sourcing creates savings by getting agencies to collectively commit to purchasing certain commodities at the best value. By buying once and buying well, strategic sourcing has saved the American public more than $300 million since 2010.

By leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government, GSA negotiates prices for office supplies that are 13 percent below prior paid pricing. This has already saved more than $127 million. At the same time we realized these significant savings, we directed more than 76 percent of the dollars spent to small businesses.

Serving our Partners

GSA strives to ensure that doing business with us is as easy and reliable as possible by simplifying and streamlining our processes and systems.

An example of this is our wireless contracts. Today, we have 4,000 wireless agreements and more than 800 wireless plans. A 2010 Gartner report indicated that the federal government pays more than twice the amount paid by top commercial customers for basic cellular voice service. Earlier this year, GSA announced the award of new wireless agreements which will save an estimated $300 million over the next five years. These new agreements will also improve the overall management of wireless services.

We are also responding to the needs of our partners by developing tools like One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS). OASIS will be a one stop shop for key professional services and will allow for one contract with multiple areas of professional services. Ambitious, multibillion dollar professional services contracts such as this is key to GSA's future. OASIS is way of responding to customer concerns while delivering multipart service results.

Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses

Delivering the best value for government and the American people requires taking advantage of all resources. Central to that approach is expanding opportunities for small businesses throughout the country.

In FY 2012, GSA spent $1.3 billion through Small Businesses and received our second consecutive A+ rating from the SBA2. The GSA Multiple Award Schedules is one way GSA provides small and disadvantaged businesses access to the federal marketplace. In FY 2013, 34.7 percent of the business conducted through the Multiple Award Schedules was awarded to small and disadvantaged businesses.

Making a More Sustainable Government

Going green saves green, and we are committed to a sustainable government that reduces energy and water use in federal buildings, responsibly disposes of electronic waste, and greens the federal fleet. GSA will also continue to work with businesses to make sustainable products and services readily available and affordable to our partner agencies.

GSA supported federal customers in purchasing alternative fuel vehicles to reduce the environmental impact of the federal fleet. In FY 2013, GSA initiated an incentive program to offer hybrids for the price of a regular sedan by funding the incremental costs. In addition, over 80 percent of the vehicles purchased by GSA this fiscal year were classified as alternative fuel vehicles.

GSA is currently focusing on six priorities to ensure that we fulfill our mission and best serve the American people. The six priorities are Delivering Better Value and Savings, Serving our Partners, Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses, Making a More Sustainable Government, Leading with Innovation, and Building a Stronger GSA.

GSA is reducing energy costs by implementing high-performing green features, such as photovoltaic rooftop arrays, rainwater recapture and reuse systems, green roofs, solar panels, and high efficiency building systems. GSA developed and implemented a new building operations and management system, GSALink, to collect and quickly respond to real time building data. GSA also implemented the Shave Energy Program, which focuses on low or no-cost measures to reduce energy consumption. The goal of the program is to reduce facility energy consumption by approximately 10 percent. GSA is applying these principles to help drive savings to agencies as they convert to a more efficient and effective workplace.

Leading with Innovation

In FY 2013, GSA made its headquarters in Washington, DC into a testing ground for a new kind of federal workplace. By transforming conventional office space into a collaborative, flexible work environment, GSA is "walking the walk" and demonstrating to our customer agencies how we can effectively utilize space and significantly reduce costs. GSA is saving over $24 million a year by reorganizing its workspace and expanding workspace use to approximately 3,300, from 2,000 employees, and vacating leases that are no longer required.

GSA provides direct access to a wide range of digital services, as well as consumer protection information through the official Web portals of the federal government, and GSA's USA Services provides a one-stop source for information about federal government programs and services and provides consumer information on money management, scams, federal benefits, identity theft, government auctions, health, housing, and jobs.

GSA manages which provides access to hundreds of thousands of open government datasets from 172 agencies. This data helps to power American businesses that are creating products and services in sectors ranging from energy to consumer finance to education. Thousands of services from hundreds of businesses use data such as real-time weather feeds, crime statistics, hospital rating data, and consumer safety information to deliver their services. increases the access to this treasure trove of data for all citizens, through communities (like that put context around the data, showcase government and citizen apps, and allow people to ask questions.

Building a Stronger GSA

GSA is committed to providing its employees with the same high-quality service and support provided to our partner agencies, which enables them to deliver our mission as efficiently as possible, and to ensure that our customers are receiving the best service from GSA.

Beginning in April of 2012, GSA conducted a comprehensive Top to Bottom Review. The goal of this review was to build a stronger GSA and deliver the greatest possible value to the American people and our federal partners. The Top to Bottom review showed us that the broad duplication of services has complicated our work, added cost and impaired outcomes. It became clear that the best way to build a stronger GSA would be to streamline and consolidate the information technology, human resources, administrative, and financial functions of GSA. This will integrate each administrative function into a single team: teams that not only work together smoothly and efficiently, but also with clear responsibility and accountability. We anticipate that this process will save the American taxpayer over $200 million over the next ten years.

Today, the mission of GSA is more important than ever before. At a time when every agency is feeling the effect of tightening budgets, our ability to deliver savings in real estate, acquisitions, and technology services is allowing agencies to focus on serving the American people to the very best of their ability.

GSA is currently focusing on six priorities to ensure that we fulfill our mission and best serve the American people.


1. For purposes of providing an appropriate comparison to the market rate, the 4.3 percent represents an unadjusted vacancy rate. For government reporting, consistent with our OMB external performance measure, GSA excludes vacant space with ongoing prospectus level renovation. In FY 2013, the reported vacancy rate was 3.8 percent.

2. FY 2013 SBA data will not be published until March 2014.

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26