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GSA To Launch CAN'T BEAT GSA LEASING Program

GSA #9321
May 24, 1996
Contact: Hap Connors
(hap.connors@gsa.gov)


David J. Barram, Acting Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, and Robert A. Peck, Commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service, announced today that GSA will launch a bold new leasing program by Independence Day. Called CAN'T BEAT GSA LEASING, the new program will completely overhaul GSA's $2.3 billion-a-year leasing program.

Barram said that the goal of the CAN'T BEAT GSA LEASING program is to improve GSA's responsiveness to its federal government clients, to reduce the time it takes to identify and lease privately-owned real estate and to capture increased savings on lease costs.

The goal will be accomplished by freeing PBS employees from cumbersome procedures, complicated forms, duplicative management reviews and by expanding the use of new lease negotiation practices initiated in 1994 that have saved over $300-million in long-term federal leasing costs. In addition, GSA will build on the skills and creativity of our long-time leasing experts, according to Barram.

The new program incorporates lessons learned in Reinvention Labs created in a number of GSA regions under Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review. Peck said, "Our NPR lab regions have demonstrated that GSA can thrill our clients with timely, high quality and cost-conscious leasing services. Now it's time to implement the lessons learned from our labs throughout all of PBS."

Peck said the goal is to create a leasing program that is "user-friendly" for PBS employees, client agencies and private sector suppliers. During the week following the July 4th Holiday, all GSA leasing personnel across the nation will suspend business as usual to be retrained on the new streamlined federal leasing process.

Reform of GSA's leasing process was suggested by the NPR-inspired Federal Operations Review Model (FORM) evaluations of GSA's business lines. The FORM reviews cited many areas where GSA practices match the best private sector economies and efficiency. In leasing, the FORM review recommended streamlining GSA leasing procedures to meet commercial benchmarks.

Barram said that GSA will continue to look for ways to improve our service, which may include voluntarily relinquishing its monopoly on leasing for federal agencies. "We intend to work with Congress, OMB and our unions to explore every new avenue available to us to accomplish our goals," he said.

Federal leases for commercial office space -- whether carried out by GSA, other agencies, or private brokers -- must comply with nearly 30 federal laws and regulations requiring fair and open competition.

"We want our 100 client agencies to use our leasing services because they recognize that we are the best, not because the law says we can make them use us," Barram said. "The CAN'T BEAT GSA LEASING program will give PBS employees the tools and training we need to compete successfully against anyone."

Barram said that other parts of GSA have been competing successfully for customers for several years. For example, in 1988, GSA's Federal Supply Service began a similar organizational overhaul. Faced by a challenge to its status as a mandatory provider of goods and services to other Federal agencies, FSS initiated customer-oriented business practices which have made FSS the provider of choice in the Federal government.

Today, FSS divisions are working with state-of-the-art technologies developed by FSS personnel to meet the specific needs of their customers. FSS also boasts competitive pricing and 48-hour turn-around on many product orders. Barram said that when considering such accomplishments as $136-per-month car leases and $242 Washington-to-L.A. round trip plane fares, "all of us can be proud of the fact that GSA knows how to work smarter and faster."

Barram said, "Our goal is to apply the lessons we've learned in FSS to the new CAN'T BEAT GSA LEASING program by the end of 1996."