Meet the Pros: General Services Administration
GSA Updates Web Site and Processes
The General Services Administration (GSA) secures the buildings, products, technology, and other essentials that federal agencies require to operate. GSA resource experts procure space, furniture, equipment, computers, and telecommunications systems from federal and commercial sources at best value.
The agency also sells surplus federal property, such as real estate and vehicles, to the public. By developing and implementing policies, the GSA helps promote best management practices throughout the government. Roughly 14,000 GSA associates support over one million federal workers located in 8,300 government-owned and leased buildings nationwide.
As a technology leader, the GSA is managing partner for five of the 24 White House e-government initiatives. In an ongoing effort to make the GSA’s own Web site more user friendly, www.gsa.gov is in the redesign process. A comprehensive assessment of the site was completed late 2002 and the foundation of the redesign was set in place. During the assessment phase, or “remediation,” GSA made site adjustments, easing navigation to frequently accessed topics.
“Our revamped Web site aims to help you find the information and services you want more quickly and easily,” says Stephen A. Perry, GSA Administrator. “It also focuses more on the products, services, and information GSA customers need.”
When the redesign is complete, late summer 2003, all site components will have been assessed, edited, rewritten, reconfigured, and/or deleted as necessary to improve navigation, clarity, and usability.
GSA offers its customers many ways to procure goods and services. GSA simplifies federal procurement by negotiating large multi-user contracts (GSA Schedules and value-added information technology contracts) and by leveraging the volume of the federal market to drive down prices.
Federal agencies place orders against these contracts in a variety of ways—through GSA customer representatives or catalogs, by phone or fax, charge cards, electronic requisitioning (FEDSTRIP/MIL-STRIP), in-person auctions, over the Internet, or by contacting suppliers directly.
GSA offers a variety of online purchasing methods, including the GSA Advantage! ordering system, the Wireless Store for wireless telecommunications purchases, Buyers.gov “reverse auctions” to get the best price for large purchases of information technology, and GSAAuctions online sales of surplus property.
GSA also offers customers the means to manage their own procurements online, through E-Buy requests for quotes online and FedBizOpps, where federal agencies can post their contracting requirements online.
Additional agency improvements are in the area of procurement processes. The GSA is combining and realigning certain functions currently carried out in its Federal Supply Service (FSS) and Federal Technology Service (FTS). The changes will enable GSA to efficiently meet the rapidly growing needs of it customer agencies for assistance in the procurement of Information Technology (IT) products, services, and professional services.
“This realignment is part of our overall effort to make positive changes throughout GSA to provide best value solutions to federal agencies and it is responsive to President Bush’s Management Agenda directives to improve the performance of each government agency,” says Perry.
“I applaud the efforts of all those who have been involved in developing this solution, including Donna Bennett, Commissioner of FSS and Sandy Bates, Commissioner of FTS, for their leadership in guiding our GSA team through this challenging work,” Perry adds.
The agency also provides travel and transportation services, manages the federal motor vehicle fleet, oversees telecommuting centers and federal child care centers, preserves historic buildings, manages a fine arts program, and develops, advocates, and evaluates government-wide policy.
Since 1949, the GSA has housed federal workers and provided products and services to support government work throughout the country. The agency affects almost $66 billion in financial transactions throughout the government and has an annual budget of approximately $16 billion.
The GSA is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has 11 Regional Offices in Boston, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Kansas City, MO; Fort Worth, TX; Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; Auburn, WA; and Washington, DC.
GSA EXPO 2003
The Lone Star State will host an influx of visitors to the General Services Administration (GSA) Expo 2003 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, May 6 to 8.
The combined Training Conference and Product Expo will offer over 100 hours of training courses, with International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits earned for selected courses. The Expo will include a large exhibit area for showcasing the products and services of over 700 commercial companies, all with GSA contracts.
Admission and lunch on site is free to all federal and military attendees.
Attendees can choose from more than 150 training sessions over three days. For complete information, visit: www.expo.gsa.gov.
Expo Class Examples:
Security, Safety & Health