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GSA Leads U.S. Collaboration with Other Countries on IT and Other Services

June 21, 2006                

GSA # 10252

Contact:  202-501-1231
katharine.uhre@gsa.gov


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced its participation in bilateral discussions with its Canadian counterpart agency Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to be held on June 23 in Ottawa, Canada. Topics to be discussed during the 2006 meeting include public buildings operations, acquisition management, e-government and e-infrastructure, human capital and customer service, among others.  This meeting marks the third time officials from these two government agencies have met. 

At the first bilateral meeting in 2003, the PWGSC Deputy Minister I. David Marshall and former GSA Administrator Stephen Perry signed a memorandum of understanding calling for ongoing communications between the two agencies and stipulating the group meet at least biannually. After this initial meeting, the Canadians reported that “a strong network of officials at all levels has been developed between counterparts on both sides of the border resulting in a valuable knowledge partnership where experiences and best practices are exchanged and lessons are shared.”

The 2006 GSA delegation will be led by GSA Deputy Administrator David L. Bibb and will also include the Commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service David Winstead, the Acting Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service G. Martin Wagner, the Acting Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy John Sindelar and GSA’s Chief Acquisition Officer Emily Murphy.  GSA’s Administrator Lurita Doan is unable to attend but will be sending a message with the GSA delegation affirming the group’s objectives. 

“Over the past few years there has been a growing demand for increased international communication to leverage the power of technology to improve government services,” said Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC), MJ Pizzella.  “As a key player in expanding e-government, an important part of the President’s Management Agenda, OCSC has long led U.S. intergovernmental coordination in the IT area.  These meetings facilitate the exchange of knowledge, insights and best practices and foster the development of global relationships.”

Earlier this month, GSA coordinated the U.S. participation in “North American Day,” a tri-partite talk among the senior IT officials of the United States, Mexico and Canada.   The Office of Management and Budget’s Associate Administrator for E-Government and Information Karen Evans led the US delegation.  This year discussion centered on ways to institutionalize e-government programs, capture savings and performance improvements through shared services, improve recruitment and retention polices for IT professionals and collaborate across borders.”

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GSA is a centralized, federal procurement, property management, policy development and information provision agency, created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public.  In this role, GSA acquires products and services on behalf of federal agencies; plays a key role in developing and implementing governmentwide policies; provides services and solutions for the office operations of more than one million federal workers; and encourages a citizen-centric relationship with government by providing a single "point of entry" to the information and services citizens need in a timeframe they can appreciate.  This allows citizens to receive accurate, timely and consistent answers and information, and helps Federal agencies better respond to citizen inquiries.