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GSA Saves Big Bucks on Second Clinton Inaugural

GSA #9382

February 4, 1997
Contact: Hap Connors

David J. Barram, acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced that GSA saved some $600,000 on the cost of the second Clinton presidential inaugural over what it spent in support of the 1993 event.

Joel Odum, chief operating officer of GSA's Inaugural Committee, said that the agency's expertise and cooperation with the 1997 Presidential Inaugural Committee and other government agencies allowed GSA to hold expenses to less than $890,000 -- a savings of some $600,000 on the $1,500,000 spent on the previous inaugural.

"We're still waiting for some last-minute bills to trickle in," Odum said, "so the final numbers could be even better. We're very proud of the job we did and the money we were able to save the taxpayers."

GSA provided fully-furnished offices for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, and other government agencies supporting inaugural activities in vacant space GSA has under lease.

GSA also loaned experts from its own staff to oversee key functions of the inaugural,
including contracting officers for procurement, Federal Protective Service personnel for security,
planners and estimators for construction and space alterations, budget analysts for funds control, and other experts in the areas of telecommunications and transportation.

Odum said that early on he and other key GSA staffers studied reports of previous presidential inaugurals GSA has supported, looking for ways to avoid pitfalls or to do things better.

Odum pointed out some of GSA's innovative accomplishments, including:

* Using a smart card security system that reduced the need for extra security
* Negotiating lower phone rates, utility and cleaning bills with vendors
* Cutting the number of employees assigned to the inauguration by half and using GSA experts on an as-needed basis
* Using surplus furniture and rental office space
* Renting instead of purchasing various goods and services.

GSA is authorized to provide office space, furniture, supplies, procurement services, personnel, security and other support for inaugurations and works closely with the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Departments of Defense and Interior, and the District of Columbia. GSA has provided support to all inaugurations since 1952 when Dwight Eisenhower was first elected president.

GSA provides efficient and cost-effective workplaces for federal workers by servicing their office space, supplies, telecommunications and transportation needs. The agency has been a leader in Vice President Gore's National Performance Review, and since 1993, has cut operating costs by nearly 26% and streamlined its workforce by almost 29%.

To find out more about GSA and its programs and initiatives, visit the agency's homepage at http://www.gsa.gov.