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GSA Wins 1999 IDRC Foundation Best Practice Award Creative Management of Immense Portfolio Rare Outside of Institutional Investment

GSA #9619

November 2, 1999
CONTACT: Viki Reath (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) won a 1999 Best Practice Award from the International Development Research Corporation (IDRC) Foundation, an organization comprised mainly of corporate real estate executives.

GSA received the Decision Support Category award on Oct. 18 for its Asset Business Plan (ABPnet) web site, which tracks financial data, customer satisfaction and business performance for each of GSA's 7,916 buildings.

The web site puts GSA in a strong position to compete effectively in the federal office market, said Pamela Wessling, assistant Public Buildings Service commissioner for portfolio management.

"We can assess the profitability of each GSA asset and determine whether our costs and charges are consistent," she said. "The web site also has commercial real estate information, which enables us to measure our performance against comparables in the general marketplace. Of course, all of this helps with long-term planning."

Robert Materna, IDRC vice president, said GSA's Public Buildings Service won the award, because the web site reflects GSA's progressive view on restructuring its entire approach to real estate management.

"They have used web-based tools to manage an immense portfolio and demonstrate a creative asset management mindset that is rarely seen outside of the field of institutional investment," Materna said.

One of the primary benefits of the system, a major component of GSA's asset management and business performance programs, is its ability to pool information from disparate sources into one place to make it available throughout GSA, said Robert A. Peck, commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service, whose Portfolio Management Office developed ABPnet.

"And it points out discrepancies that need to be fixed," Peck said. "It also helps measure performance - a major GSA goal-- allowing people to see how the buildings they manage contribute to or detract from the overall portfolio, helping to establish quarterly operating targets, monitor performance and see immediately who the tenants are and how much rent they pay in specific buildings.

"It even enables us to spot billing irregularities. And it tells us the projects that will be funded in a given year, so we can prioritize capital investments. Keeping this type of data current and accessible also allows asset managers to justify the need for major repair and modernization projects."

The web site is designed to help GSA fill its tenants' space, product and service needs in its 346 million rentable square - now and into the future.