How GSA Benefits the Public

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The U.S. General Services Administration was established on July 1, 1949, as a result of the Hoover Commission. The agency consolidated administrative functions across government into one organization in order to avoid senseless duplication, excess cost, and confusion in handling supplies, and providing space. The demand for government services is greater today than it has ever been. GSA is committed to delivering on its mission to provide the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people. Every day, GSA helps agencies buy smarter, reduce their real estate footprint, and create a better, faster government that makes a difference in communities across the country.

Public Buildings Service Commissioner Norm Dong plants flowers with the Fedkids in New York City
Public Buildings Service Commissioner Norm Dong plants flowers with the Fedkids in New York City

Today, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) conducts more than $50 billion in business within the Federal, State, and local marketplace. GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) manages buildings for the Federal Government and provides workspace for more than 1.1 million Federal civilian workers with a portfolio that includes 8,721 owned or leased assets, more than 375 million rentable square feet of workspace, and more than 480 historic buildings either listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2016 GSA launched the Technology Transformation Service (TTS) to promote technological innovation and help Federal agencies build, buy, and share technology solutions. Our work in support of the mission is guided by a vision that focuses on three important principles: Economic Catalyst, Proactive Federal Partner, and Operational Excellence.

Economic Catalyst

Every day, the Federal Government’s investments have an impact on the communities where we live and work. GSA is committed to working more closely with Federal agencies and city officials to build, lease, and consolidate strategically in places that make the most economic sense for the surrounding community by considering transit, housing, telecommunications infrastructure and other factors. We are also working to better support small business owners by lowering the barriers to getting on schedule and ensuring they know about the opportunities that exist across government.

In fiscal year (FY) 2016 alone, more than $33 billion passed through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules program. To support strong business participation in supporting the Federal Government, we are working to provide opportunities for suppliers across the board, including small businesses, new entrepreneurs, and those not familiar with working with the government.

In order to support this goal, FAS has introduced the Making It Easier initiative, which will allow innovative companies to do business with the government with as little burden and delay as possible. By offering well-designed tech interfaces that allow vendors to register, update information, and interact with the government easily, small businesses will have the tools and support they need to be successful when working with the government.

At GSA, we understand that our real estate portfolio has a significant impact on the neighborhoods that surround it. In order to make a real difference in the communities where we live and work, we are working to enhance the community benefit of our real estate decisions. We are renewing our efforts to support local and regional planning and economic development goals wherever possible through our real estate portfolio decisions.

Proactive Federal Partner

GSA has significant knowledge about the agencies we support, and it is our responsibility to use this knowledge to help them better serve the American people. By finding and taking advantage of opportunities to be a proactive Federal partner, GSA helps agencies improve service delivery and increase cost savings.

By putting customers at the core of our business, GSA ensures strong service for agency customers. Whether it’s surveying the over one million tenants in Federal buildings across the country about their workplace experiences, developing powerful acquisition tools like OASIS, offering agile software development through the 18F team, or sharing social media best practices on DigitalGov, we are always looking for newer, better ways to carry out our mission in partnership with our sister agencies. In order to help business lines work together toward common, customer-centric outcomes, we have created an Office of Customer Experience that works on customer issues throughout the agency.

Furthermore, GSA is driving acquisition excellence through Category Management and the Acquisition Gateway. Category Management is a common-sense approach to manage how the government spends money. It means analyzing how the Federal Government spends $500 billion dollars each year and putting some structure into such spending; organizing the spending into product or service categories, such as IT Hardware, Office Supplies or Professional Services; and then managing each of those categories as a strategic business unit so we can better meet Federal client agency needs.

This is a major step forward for government acquisitions, and the Acquisition Gateway is the tool with which we will implement it. The Gateway is a government-wide technology platform that will give acquisition professionals easy access to actionable data and acquisition tools to help Federal buyers make smart choices and save time, money, and administrative resources. By better organizing the acquisitions of the Federal Government and providing better access to experts and information, GSA is assisting Federal agencies to make informed acquisition decisions that will benefit the American taxpayer.

One of our most important services is providing space for our agency partners, which is why we are working on reducing and modernizing the government’s real estate. One example of this effort is a new web-based leasing tool, the Automated Advanced Acquisition Program (AAAP). The new tool allows businesses and the general public to electronically submit offers to lease space to the federal government. The e-commerce platform will help drive savings to taxpayers by improving federal leasing efficiency in the real estate market. The AAAP consolidates and streamlines the leasing process by facilitating GSA’s ability to meet federal office space requirements quickly and cost effectively. This is GSA using its resources to design tech interfaces that allow companies to do business with the government with as little burden and delay as possible and spurring economic development.

Finally, GSA is helping Federal agencies achieve better outcomes by showing them what’s possible and providing access to acquisition solutions that can harness a 21st century approach to building new IT solutions. GSA has the experience and insights to help the government make the best decisions.

That is why GSA has established a new service line: the Technology Transformation Service. Serving as a foundation for the Federal Government’s modernization efforts, this new service is comprised of the programs and services now offered by the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF), and 18F.

Since their founding, these programs have been providing innovative digital services and leadership to our Federal partners. They have developed specific technology solutions in support of our customer agencies’ missions, while also helping them rethink the way they use technology to serve the American public. More and more, agencies are looking for this kind of assistance.

By moving these programs into a new service, we are demonstrating a commitment to make agile, user-centered delivery of technology the way we do business moving forward. This new service complements GSA’s current technology efforts, bolstering the strong support we already provide to partner agencies and allowing us to deliver transformative technology solutions.

By strengthening our role as a proactive partner throughout the Federal Government, GSA will help agencies improve service delivery and save valuable taxpayer dollars.

Operational Excellence

In recent years, this agency has done a great deal to improve itself as an organization. By collecting and relying more on data, enhancing reporting structures, and cultivating leaders, we have empowered people throughout GSA to make better decisions. This agency must continue to strive for the highest levels of operational excellence.

This agency’s most important asset is a strong, diverse, and optimized workforce. GSA cannot serve the American people as an agency if we are not using everyone’s diverse talents to the very best of their ability.

GSA is committed to supporting our workforce with the training and development that it needs. Enterprise wide programs such as the Competitive Development Program and GSA Rotational Program afford our employees the opportunity to cross-train within the Agency, increase collaboration, and provide future and current leaders the skills and development opportunities they require to meet GSA’s evolving needs.

GSA is committed to hiring the highest quality talent to ensure long term success in meeting our mission. To this end, GSA has created the Emerging Leaders Program. This Program was designed to facilitate the college-to-career transition for all incoming entry-level talent and to provide a two-year development program specializing in the core technical and professional expertise essential for effective leadership. In addition, GSA is implementing staffing plans throughout our services in order to firmly commit to targeting entry-level and mid-level hiring for a sustainable workforce.

We are also committed to strengthening performance management to drive outcomes. Performance management allows us to measure, monitor and communicate how GSA operates against planned targets and goals that lead to better results for our customers and the public. To this end, GSA uses the Office of Strategy and Performance Management to coordinate and improve the way GSA collects and leverages performance data for our employees creating a culture throughout the organization focused on goals and measurable outcomes, all while becoming more transparent and data driven.

In order to build recent consolidations and ensure that cost savings meets efficiency and performance, we developed Service Level Agreements to ensure progress. We also created management dashboards which allows senior level managers to track progress real-time.

Finally, GSA continues the quest to ensure that data-driven decisions are at the core of our work. By making decisions based on facts and information, we are providing the American people with the highest level of service.

GSA has signaled a clear commitment to data-driven decision-making by joining the ranks of agencies with a clearly defined Chief Data Officer role and purpose-built teams focused on data migrations and reporting capabilities development. The agency has established avenues through Data to Decisions for cross-functional collaboration in the data management space, ensuring robustness of perspectives on security, architectural choices, and business needs across offices and levels of the organization. GSA engaged with the U.S. Chief Data Scientist and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to leverage the latest trends and promote government-wide collaboration.

Today, the mission of GSA is more important than ever before. This vision is driving our agency forward and giving us the ability to deliver savings in real estate, acquisitions, and technology services that allow agencies to focus on serving the American people to the very best of their ability.

Last Reviewed: 2018-01-24