Letter from the Administrator
The General Services Administration (GSA) Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Agency Financial Report (AFR), details our accomplishments and challenges in program and financial management over the past year. It demonstrates our commitment to a stewardship of public resources as well as transparent and accountable management.
Today, every federal agency is working in an environment where budgets are tightening and the demand for government services is increasing. When flat is the new up for agency funding, we need to become more effective and more efficient with the resources we have. GSA is helping agencies buy smarter, reduce their real estate footprint, and develop and deploy technology more efficiently.
With more than $50 billion in business volume, GSA has the ability to leverage the scope and scale of the federal government in a way that few others can. We are constantly working to refine the acquisition tools available to our partners, enabling them to focus their time, energy, and funds on their own important missions. GSA is taking common sense steps and applying industry best practices to address a very complex government acquisition marketplace. For example, we have created One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services, or OASIS, creating a single source for both commercial and noncommercial IT services, and eliminating the unneeded duplication of contracts. OASIS is accompanied by OASIS Small Business (SB), which is a separate solicitation set aside specifically for small businesses in order to maximize opportunities for them to do business with the federal government. We are also using strategic sourcing to drive down prices and developing a Common Acquisition Platform to provide federal agencies with the best data and information to make more informed purchasing decisions.
GSA is also helping agencies save time and money by supporting smarter purchasing platforms. GSA is developing the Common Acquisition Platform, a shared service for government acquisition needs, providing a single organized platform to enable all levels of government to access tools and expertise to enable data-driven buying decisions. In addition, we are reorganizing ourselves around categories of goods and services, rather than acquisition channels. This will allow us to provide valuable acquisition advice, better contract vehicles, and a full spectrum of assisted acquisition services.
We are also working to manage the federal government’s building inventory more efficiently by negotiating effective contracts, leasing only when necessary, disposing of excess property, and modernizing our workspaces. We have negotiated leases that are, on average, more than eight percent below market rates at the time of signing. Furthermore, through good project planning, we reduced the amount of square footage associated with future replacement leases by 16 percent or 632,131 rentable square feet. This reduction will result in significant savings for customers and taxpayers when these leases come to fruition. At the same time, we are working to support the President’s and Congress’ commitment to freeze the federal footprint. GSA disposed of 340 federal properties with $40 million in sales proceeds, a 60 percent increase in the volume of disposals from FY 2013. GSA is also exploring public private partnership to exchange some of our older, outdated buildings for new, more efficient spaces.
GSA is working to ensure that our buildings GSA is working to ensure that our buildings are suited for the needs of the federal government in the 21st century. Our employees across the country are beginning to use an open, mobile work environment to increase productivity and reduce costs. We are also working to help other federal agencies adopt this model through our Total Workplace program, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services. We will also provide federal agencies with a clear model and investment plan with which they can use to transform their offices into something capable of supporting the work of a 21st century government agency.
The changing face of technology has dramatically altered the way government interacts with our partners, industry, and individuals. We are aggressively looking for ways to utilize these new tools and apply them to the problems of government. This is why we are working to create a workforce that can support federal agencies in developing many of the government’s most innovative projects.
Our newly launched 18F brings together a team of experts and innovators to make government’s digital services more efficient and effective. Recruited from across the private and public sectors, these women and men will collaborate with federal agencies and help them improve their digital service delivery. By using lessons from the nation’s top startups and innovative companies, these public servants provide cutting-edge support for GSA’s federal partners that reduces cost and improves service.
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 are working to make our own operations as efficient as possible. As a result of a “Top to Bottom” review of the agency, GSA has focused on making internal operations, such as administration of GSA-occupied space or the management of contracts in support of GSA activities, more efficient. Each organization took a hard look at its functions, strengthening core offerings and transitioning other functions to offices better structured to deliver them.
Our two-year effort to realign and consolidate administrative functions is helping GSA deliver on this important priority and could save as much as $200 million over the next ten years. Other agencies look to GSA as a model for ways to think differently about how to execute the work of government in the 21st century.
GSA is also transitioning from out-dated business models that no longer provide competitive offerings to our partner agencies. As part of this effort, we are closing the two remaining GSA distribution centers, which no longer serve the demand for which they were constructed. Through this action, the Federal Acquisition Service will have reduced its full-time equivalent (FTE) required to support the Stock program from 153.5 in FY 2014 to 18.25 in FY 2015. Upon final closure in FY 2016, associated FTE within the distribution centers will be reduced to zero. This change will save approximately $12.4 million in personnel compensation and benefit costs annually. Contractual labor support within the distribution centers will be discontinued after the first quarter of FY 2015, resulting in approximately $11.7 million more in savings annually from the projected FY 2014 levels.
GSA is committed to building a responsive and effective government to best serve federal employees, agencies, and the American people. This report shows how the women and men of GSA are working tirelessly to create the most efficient agency possible in order to fulfill our mission.
Financial Systems and Performance Data Assurances
As outlined in the Management Assurances section of this report, GSA conducted its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over operations, systems, and financial reporting. GSA can provide reasonable assurance that internal controls were operating effectively in each of these areas, except for one material weakness identified in the financial reporting process. More detail on this topic is in the Management Assurances section of this report.
Throughout the year, our senior managers assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations by analyzing financial and performance data. Management relies on this data to identify material inadequacies in financial and program performance areas and to identify corrective actions needed to resolve them. As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, I have assessed the financial and performance data used in this report, and believe it to be complete and reliable.
Over the past year, the women and men at GSA have done outstanding work serving our partner agencies and the American people. Their efforts are making a difference throughout the government as well as the entire country. We are proud of what we accomplished over the last fiscal year, and we recognize opportunities for improvement. Everyone at GSA looks forward to making continued progress in the new fiscal year.
November 12, 2014