Benefits to Citizens
Help Stimulate the Economy
The agency was appropriated $5.6 billion under the Recovery Act to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings, and build new energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses, and land ports of entry. These projects will deliver lasting progress toward modernizing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing the federal government’s consumption of energy and water, and increasing the use of clean and renewable sources of energy.
GSA had until Sept. 30 to invest $300 million of additional Recovery Act funds on new, more fuel-efficient vehicles for the federal fleet. The move was expected to cut federal vehicle gas consumption by 1.3 million gallons a year. Ahead of the deadline, GSA ordered 17,246 vehicles from six manufacturers, with the majority delivered by Oct. 31. The purchase included 2,500 hybrid sedans, 35 hybrid buses, and five compressed natural gas buses.
GSA also moved quickly and effectively to invest the Recovery Act funds for building projects. The first $1 billion was obligated by July 30 and funded projects at 120 buildings across the country. For example, in Austin, Texas, GSA is designing and building a new courthouse that will meet both the future needs of the courts and security requirements. In Otay Mesa, Calif., GSA is developing a border crossing that will accommodate better commercial traffic flow, and have new primary inspection booths, as well as office and processing areas. And in Boston, Mass., GSA is improving energy performance while enhancing security at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building by installing energy-efficient, blast resistant windows surrounded by improved insulation. By fiscal year end, $1.4 billion had been obligated in construction projects, creating jobs in traditional sectors and emerging green industries. GSA will obligate its remaining $4.5 billion in Recovery Act construction funds by September 30, 2011.
Ensure Taxpayer Dollars are Well-Spent
GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy works collaboratively with other agencies to develop and evaluate the implementation of policies associated with real and personal property, information technology, transportation, and travel management. This policy also includes the sale of real and personal property through the official Web portal, govsales.gov. Within the Office of Governmentwide Policy, the Chief Acquisition Office makes the rules that regulate the money spent for government contracts, which last year totaled more than $560 billion. GSA also provides transparency for the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week on how that money is spent.
GSA provides strong leadership and program management, playing an active policy role that helps agencies in different ways. Namely, GSA helps agencies to understand and implement new ways of doing business that effectively align with common standards, and encourages agencies to adopt governmentwide solutions to increase efficiency. GSA also leads governmentwide security efforts to protect agencies and the public from all manner of threats — physical, personal, and fiscal.
Lead in Green Government
GSA is supporting the effort to introduce cloud computing to the federal government. For more information on federal cloud computing initiatives, and a video explaining cloud computing, visit apps.gov.
GSA has a long history of providing environmentally sound or sustainable products and services, reducing waste and pollution, and providing federal employees with a healthy work environment. GSA also sponsors 14 telework centers, which saved an estimated 2.8 million travel miles, almost 115,000 gallons of fuel, and 2.3 million pounds of carbon emissions.
Foster Public Engagement
To promote a more citizen-centered government, the agency’s Office of Citizen Services recently launched "Your Voice Matters".USA.gov’s new online forum will further connect the government with the public through dialogues on important issues that affect their lives.
GSA’s other programs also help foster collaboration between citizens and their government. GSA’s apps.gov Web site provides free new media and Web 2.0 tools to other government agencies, enabling them to increase collaboration and public dialogue. GSA’s Better Buy Project, a partnership with two not-for-profit organizations, allows the public direct input into improving the federal acquisition process. Better Buy uses collaborative technology to gather ideas from the public and then takes promising ideas to pilot them in upcoming acquisitions. Get involved by visiting www.BetterBuyProject.com.
Promote an Open Government
GSA is working toward a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government by making information easily accessible. For the first time, the general public will have access online, at their fingertips, to this rich universe of information through the administration’s transparency portal, data.gov. Data made available will include tens of thousands of individual committee records, reports, and meetings detailing $3.24 billion in related spending. The new data includes information on 1,000 federal advisory committees for each year from 1997 through 2008, along with 11,430 individual committee records for 77,740 meetings; 11,317 reports; and 678,948 member entries.
By allowing interactive comparisons and analyses of this information, the public can gain even more insight into the inner workings of their government.
Link the Public to Vital Resources
GSA is a trusted, one-stop source for public information about federal government programs and services. It offers information for everyday life, and in times of crisis, the agency works around the clock to link the public with vital government information, whether the emergency is at home or abroad. GSA provides information on topics such as money management, scams, federal benefits, identity theft, government auctions and sales, health, housing, jobs, per diem, policies, and regulations.
Please visit How GSA Benefits the Public in the Fiscal Year 2009 Agency Financial Report.