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Five GSA Executives Honored with Presidential Rank Awards

GSA #9895
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz/Eleni Martin
(202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, during a White House recognition ceremony at Constitution Hall, five associates from the U.S. General Services Administration were among those honored as Presidential Rank Award winners for 2001.

The Distinguished Executive and Meritorious Executive Awards recognize and reward career Senior Executive Service (SES) members who have demonstrated exceptional performance over an extended period of time.

The Distinguished Executive rank is awarded to leaders who achieve extraordinary results. Only 1 percent of the SES may earn this award. Distinguished Executives receive a lump-sum payment of 35 percent of their base salary, a gold pin, and a framed certificate signed by the President.

This year, the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive was presented to Donna D. Bennett, Commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply Service. Under her leadership, FSS has changed the way it works while striving to provide the best value products and services for its customers. A fierce proponent of cost control, customer service, and staying ahead by anticipating customer needs, she has streamlined procurement processes and focused on and launched significant e-business programs such as GSAAuctions, an Internet system to electronically auction a wide array of surplus Federal assets; GSA E-Buy, an Internet Request for Quote system to streamline procurements and increase competition; and GSA Advantage!TM, an innovative on-line purchasing system which provides Federal agencies with access to more than one million products and services. By incorporating new technology, developing a highly qualified workforce, and encouraging high performance from her organization, Ms. Bennett's leadership has changed the way FSS works, and has influenced what Federal agencies buy, how they buy, and how they pay for products and services.

The Meritorious Executive rank is awarded to leaders for sustained accomplishments. Only 5 percent of SES members may receive the award, which includes a lump-sum payment of 20 percent of the executive's base salary, a silver pin, and a framed certificate signed by the President.

Four GSA employees were recognized with the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive:

George Barclay, Associate General Counsel, Central Office. Mr. Barclay's 17-year Federal career has shown creative leadership and lasting accomplishments. He has guided GSA from a mandatory supplier of goods and services to Federal agencies to its current status as an innovative provider of choice. In the last two years, Mr. Barclay has played a key role in the development, award, and administration of Federal telecommunications contracts; and last year, he met the objectives set forth by the White House and guided the FirstGov federal Web portal from concept to implementation.

Frank Lalley, Assistant Commissioner for Service Delivery, GSA Federal Technology Service. With more than 35 years in Federal service, Mr. Lalley is known for his innovative approach to leadership and management. He is the senior executive responsible for the Federal government's $1 billion long distance telecommunications program, a program which provides voice, data, video, wireless, and satellite services to 165 government agencies around the world.

Ed O'Hare, Former Chief Information Officer, GSA Federal Supply Service. Throughout his career, Mr. O'Hare has fostered an environment that supports individual development and self-motivation. Despite hiring freezes over most of the last six years, he championed the advantages of diversity for ensuring effective program performance as reflected in his promotion practices. Prior to his retirement, his recent managerial promotions have raised minority and female representation by more than 50%.

Leighton Waters, Assistant Regional Administrator, GSA Public Buildings Service, Greater Southwest Region. Mr. Waters has managed using performance measures and private sector benchmarks to achieve cost-effective operations across the many business areas under his purview. In FY2000, he improved the "bottom line" performance of his region by more than $25 million through increased revenues and reduced expenses.

The percent of career SES members who may receive each award is based on the governmentwide SES population as of September 30, 2000.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA, comprised of 14,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of over 1 million federal workers located in 8,300 government-owned and leased buildings in 1,600 U.S. communities.