How GSA Benefits the Public

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The General Services Administration was established on July 1, 1949, as a result of the Hoover Commission. The agency consolidated administrative functions across government into one organization in order to avoid “senseless duplication, excess cost, and confusion in handling supplies, and providing space.” Today, GSA benefits the public through delivering the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) has an annual business volume of over $50 billion and manages over 205,000 fleet vehicles. GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) manages buildings for the federal government, a significant portfolio that included approximately 8,900 owned or leased buildings, approximately 376 million rentable square feet of workspace, and an estimated 656 historic buildings either listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. At a time when budgets are shrinking across the federal government, GSA is providing the value that our partner agencies need so they can focus their resources on fulfilling their own important missions to the American people.

GSA’s continued focus on six main priorities ensures that we fulfill our mission and provide the best service to the American people.

Delivering Better Value and Savings

By using the purchasing power of the federal government, GSA works to drive down prices, deliver better value, and reduce costs to our partner agencies. As the federal government’s acquisition agency, GSA connects federal purchasers with the most cost-effective and high-quality commercial products and services.

In 2014, GSA announced the award of 21 third generation Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies (FSSI OS3) contracts, with 20 of the 21 businesses awarded an OS3 being small businesses. OS3 will save money for the federal government and increase efficiencies by providing everyday supplies like pens, paper, and printing items from a list of vendors with negotiated low prices. In addition to lowering administrative costs through a streamlined acquisition process and simplified contractual terms, OS3 simplifies purchasing data collection, enhances transparency and helps agencies manage expenditures and measure cost-savings.

GSA’s FAS also awarded 12 blanket purchase agreements for a new strategic sourcing solution designed to help federal agencies purchase Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) equipment and supplies at discounted prices that are 12 percent lower than standard government pricing. GSA expects the use of the MRO solution can achieve a potential savings $16 million in the first year and rising to more than $30 million annually with increased use. For a complete list of awarded contract holders and the ordering guide, visit

In addition, FAS awarded 18 blanket purchase agreements for a new strategic sourcing solution designed to help federal agencies purchase Janitorial and Sanitation (JanSan) supplies at prices that are approximately 15 percent lower than standard government pricing. GSA expects the use of the JanSan solution can achieve a potential savings of $8 million in the first year and rising to more than $20 million annually with increased use.

When it comes to government efficiency and sustainability, GSA is leading the way by reducing the federal government’s carbon and real estate footprints. In addition, GSA has identified 17 projects in 10 states plus the District of Columbia where the agency will work with other federal agencies to consolidate their offices into a federally owned space. This consolidation effort will not only reduce costs by eliminating multiple leases, but also scale back the federal government’s energy and water consumption. This investment will save federal agencies $16 million in annual rent payments and reduce the federal footprint by 492,000 rentable square feet, plus reduce the government’s leasing costs by $38 million.

Ultimately, in a time of shrinking budgets, these initiatives will save taxpayer dollars and allow agencies to invest more in their missions and better serve the American people.

Serving our Partners

GSA strives to ensure that doing business with us is as easy and reliable as possible by simplifying and streamlining our processes and systems.

In 2014, GSA issued an official Notice to Proceed on its One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) Small Business (SB) contract, clearing the path forward for agencies to save taxpayer dollars and federal agency resources. Federal agencies can begin using this first-of-its-kind, flexible GSA contract solution to purchase commercial, non-commercial, multidisciplinary, and complex professional services. Both OASIS and OASIS SB further minimize contract duplication and improves efficiency, while also delivering solid benefits to the selected industry partners and maximizing opportunities for small businesses.

The United States Air Force committed to use OASIS SB instead of creating several of its own multiple-award, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) acquisition vehicles. These efforts are estimated to be worth approximately $1.4 billion per year and use of OASIS SB will save the Air Force and taxpayers significant dollars and resources.

Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses

Delivering the best value for government and the American people requires taking advantage of all resources. Central to that approach is expanding opportunities for small businesses throughout the country.

In FY 2013, GSA spent $1.3 billion through Small Businesses and received our third straight A rating from the Small Business Administration. As of October 2014 the preliminary results for FY 2014 shows $1.5 billion awarded to small businesses. The GSA Multiple Award Schedules is one way GSA provides small and disadvantaged businesses access to the federal marketplace.

Making a More Sustainable Government

Going green saves green, and GSA remains committed to a sustainable government that reduces energy and water use in federal buildings, responsibly disposes of electronic waste, and greens the federal fleet.

In 2014, GSA continued to exceed its environmental goals, supporting the Obama Administration’s climate action plan. The agency received top marks on the Office of Management and Budget scorecard, the government’s benchmark to identify and track agencies’ progress toward cutting waste, pollution, and costs in federal operations.

GSA’s green efforts help combat climate change by mitigating emissions from buildings, fleet, and supply chain. Through these efforts, GSA successfully:

  • Reduced energy usage in buildings by approximately 26 percent from 2003, avoiding $315 million in energy bills from 2008–2014 and positioning to meet our 30 percent reduction mandate by September 2015.
  • Reduced water usage in buildings by approximately 13 percent from 2007, avoiding $28 million in water bills from 2008–2014.
  • Reduced petroleum use in its vehicle fleet by nearly 50 percent compared to 2005.

Leading with Innovation

In 2014, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University named GSA’s as the winner of its Innovations in American Government Award from a pool of more than 600 applicants.

GSA launched, developed in partnership with ChallengePost in July 2010 in response to an Obama Administration memo tasking the agency with building a platform that allowed entrepreneurs, innovators, and the public to compete for prestige and prizes by providing the government with novel solutions to tough problems. Since its launch, has featured over 370 challenges and been used by 67 federal agencies to crowd source solutions and has received 3.6 million visits.

In a world where technology has radically changed the way we live and work, GSA is challenging the status quo to improve every system GSA uses to serve the American people.

In 2014, Administrator Tangherlini announced the launch of 18F, a team of highly skilled, proven entrepreneurs including software developers, designers, product managers, and other experts who are delivering user centered digital service design and development to agencies on a reimbursable basis. 18F includes the prestigious Presidential Innovation Fellows program.

By connecting the people, principles, and methodologies of the technology startup world with the government’s leaders in innovation, 18F seeks to improve the way agencies tackle their missions. With the launch of 18F, GSA continues to answer the call for modernized public services. The program is designed to provide the American people the digital services they expect from a 21st century government.

Building a Stronger GSA

GSA is committed to providing its employees with the same high-quality service and support provided to our partner agencies, which enables them to deliver our mission as efficiently as possible, and to ensure that our customers are receiving the best service from GSA.

During 2014, GSA continued to build on the employee idea-generating Great Ideas Hunt, which thus far has produced more than 20,000 comments and ideas, many centered on how GSA could be more efficient and save money.

Today, the mission of GSA is more important than ever before. At a time when every agency is feeling the effect of tightening budgets, our ability to deliver savings in real estate, acquisitions, and technology services is allowing agencies to focus on serving the American people to the very best of their ability.

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26