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GSA Proclaims Its Buildings and IT Systems Y2K Ready

GSA # 9628

December 31, 1999
Contact: GSA Media Relations 202-501-1231


WASHINGTON, DC - After many months of intense preparation for the turn of the century, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) reports that its systems in federal buildings across the nation are Y2K ready.

Administrator Dave Barram said today, "While it is too early to declare victory, it is quite clear that we have developed prudent plans and taken extraordinary steps to prepare for Y2K." Barram added, "I am confident that we will see a smooth transition into the new millennium."

GSA began working closely with its business and industry partners in 1995 to confirm those buildings under its control, its local and long-distance telecommunications services, and its information technology equipment would be ready for the year 2000.

GSA manages some 8,300 owned and leased facilities that range in size from tiny boathouses in the Virgin Islands to the 3.1 million square-foot Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The facilities GSA manages represent 39% of all federal space and house more than 1 million federal employees from 100 federal organizations. Surveys, inspections and testing show that 100% of the 1,800 government-owned buildings have been verified as ready for the year 2000 rollover. GSA reports that 98% of the 6,500 leased facilities have been verified and that all major operating systems in those buildings will function properly and that it is highly unlikely that any Y2K related issues will arise in those buildings, or present a risk to agency operations. All technology-dependant building operating systems such as security systems, elevators and heating and air conditioning systems in the facilities GSA manages worldwide should not experience problems related to the date rolling over from 1999 to 2000.

GSA has also insured that 100% of its information technology equipment is Y2K compliant. This includes everything from computer hard drives to e-mail applications and software programs to the local and long-distance telecommunications services it provides for federal government customers.

GSA has employees working around the clock over the millennium to monitor the smooth rollover of building and information technology systems. GSA will continually report to the National Y2K Information Coordination Center, headed by John Koskinen. In the event Y2K issues arise, GSA employees across the country are on duty to ensure the problems receive immediate attention.

GSA's Federal Protective Service has heightened the level of security in and around federal buildings under GSA's control. "While the Federal Protective Service has no information of credible threats against specific facilities," said agency spokesman Bill Bearden, "it is prudent that these enhanced steps be taken to ensure public safety in these areas."

For more than a half-century GSA has provided the tools and services federal workers needed to keep the federal government running efficiently and effectively. Congress created GSA in 1949 to provide -- as cost effectively as possible -- the space, supplies, and services federal employees needed to do their jobs. In the past few years, GSA has made a fundamental change in the way it does business, moving from a process-oriented to a market-driven agency. GSA has increasingly opened itself to competition from the private sector.

As it looks to a new century, GSA is focusing on anticipating new efficient and effective ways for federal employees to work. GSA will provide federal employees with integrated solutions to their workplace needs, including tools to meet the challenges of a mobile workforce, simplified processes through electronic commerce, and quality childcare in federal facilities.

"While Y2K will soon be behind us," Barram said, "the lessons we've learned and the excellent work we've done will become benchmarks as we prepare to meet the many other challenges that will be facing GSA in the coming years."

GSA has an important impact on American life and on the Nation's economy and affects the daily activities of federal agencies and the people who work for them. In the past few years, GSA has had to remake itself along the lines of the largest and most successful corporations there are today. GSA will continue to tenaciously strive to achieve its goal of being the "provider of choice" while facing the challenges of supporting the federal workforce of the future.

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