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GSA Administrator to Testify Before House Homeland Security Committee

GSA # 10439

January 3, 2008

Contact: Jen Millikin, (202) 501-1231
jennife.millikin@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON – U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Lurita Doan today testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security in El Paso, Texas on how GSA, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is bringing new energy and ideas to the process of designing and building secure Land Ports of Entry (LPOE).

"America’s borders must be secure and welcoming,” Administrator Doan said.  "Land Ports of Entry are the nation’s doors to the outside world, where millions of visitors and over $2 billion in trade cross each day. GSA’s goal is simple: to improve security and expand capacity by building new facilities and modernizing existing infrastructure where needed thereby moving cargo faster and eliminating long lines of frustrated travelers.”

The Administrator’s testimony before the committee at the Chamizal National Memorial Theater in El Paso will note that GSA is committed to more boldly assume the leadership role to better design, build, expand, and maintain our Nation’s Land Ports of Entry.  GSA’s goal is simple: to expand capacity and build new facilities where they are needed most, in a timely manner. The days of performing yet another study to tell us that we have a congested border are over. On an average day, over 320,000 vehicles, 136,000 pedestrians and 30,000 trucks pass through the nation's 163 border crossings.  Protecting the 6,900 miles of border with Canada and Mexico are 120 GSA LPOE that allow the safe and efficient flow of lawful traffic and commerce while at the same time preventing the illegal entry of people, drugs, terrorists or weapons into the country.  

As work proceeds on the Paso Del Norte Bridge (PDN) in El Paso, GSA has worked with the local community to open additional pedestrian and vehicular lanes during the holidays.  The $31.2 million PDN expansion will add nine new pedestrian and two vehicular lanes to the facility.  The project will also increase the space of the existing structures, replace the kennel facilities and create additional office space when the construction project is completed.  

GSA currently has 26 LPOE projects underway at a value of approximately $640 million. GSA and DHS are working together on a number of initiatives to deliver this expanded program, including shortening the delivery cycle for LPOEs and devoting greater resources to expanding critical border facilities and doing so at best value to the federal government and the American taxpayer.  

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Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government.  GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 205,000 vehicles.  GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and eGov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.  Did You Know? GSA has 26 active LPOE projects valued at approximately $640 million.