Management

Can sequestration polish GSA's image?

Dan Tangherlini GSA image

GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini (file photo)

Sequestration, for all of its downsides, might give the General Services Administration an opportunity to polish its muddied image as agencies look for all possible ways to save money, the agency's leader said March 19.

"This is the time for GSA to demonstrate its worth, and really make amends for things that happened," Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator, told a panel of House appropriators. The mud comes primarily from the revelation of a lavish conference that came to light in 2012, prompting then-administrator Martha Johnson to resign.

GSA itself is in a "sequestration-free zone," as subcommittee chairman Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) described it, because most of its funds come from agencies’ rental payments or charges for using its contracting services, via the Industrial Funding Fee, rather than appropriated funds.

Yet Tangherlini said GSA can show its value now as it provides options for what it was created to do in the first place: Push down the cost of services and products through scalable purchases and leases. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services. It has also been working to cut costs for agencies on conference and travel expenses. GSA itself announced the cancellation of two summer conferences due to sequestration and budget cuts.

GSA is hunting for money-saving solutions through rent consolidations and bulk buying of products and services through strategic sourcing, which has gained a lot of support among agencies, Tangherlini told the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee during an oversight hearing.

Tangherlini said that agency leaders have been cordial to him since he became acting GSA administrator, but now that is changing. Because agency interest in learning all of their options for reducing spending with minimal mission impact, "I have to say I’m pretty enthusiastically received right now," he said.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group