The Northwest/Arctic Region Property Division is committed to providing the customer service and delivering the kind of value in GSA’s new mission and priorities. In the past year, the Property Division has helped with the transfer, disposal or donation of famous artifacts from an Alaska shipwreck, two Navy vessels, two mobile homes, hundreds of laptop computers and office and computer equipment, hundreds of vehicles, office furniture, and even mules. In addition, they have processed more than $210 million of personal property for federal agency customers, returning $1.3 million dollars to taxpayers.
This year, GSA’s Northwest/Arctic Region is on track to provide similar customer service and results. In January, the Property Division’s Area Property Officer, Jerry Penrose, hosted an on-site screening day at Seattle’s Federal South building, vacated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late last fall when they moved into their new Seattle District Headquarters. Local agencies were invited to inspect the excess furniture and office equipment. The U.S. Forest Service claimed more than $110,000 of furniture; the Federal Aviation Administration took $42,000 worth; and the Coast Guard wanted $35,000. GSA was able to transfer this furniture to these agencies at no cost to the agency or the taxpayer. Transferring the excess furniture from one federal agency to another not only saves money for the receiving agency, it also cuts costs by eliminating disposal fees for the agency declaring the excess. This innovative disposal method delivers on GSA’s priority of making a more sustainable government.
The team has processed some unique items including artifacts recovered from the 1868 shipwreck off the uncharted coast of Cook Inlet, Alaska. The “Torrent” was 641-ton wooden sailing bark, carrying 164 sailors, civilians, women, and children on on a mission to protect American interests there following the American purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Despite treacherous seas, six lifeboats carried all aboard safely to shore, where they were rescued two weeks later. Salvaged from the wreckage was a 12-pound bronze howitzer barrel, 11 unfired mini balls, three copper alloy or brass tacks, 11 fired musket balls and clusters of .69 caliber lead shot. GSA helped transfer these significant historic artifacts from the U.S. Army to the Alaska State Museum.
The Division also helped the U.S. Navy earn nearly twice as much as they expected for sale of two, 28-foot harbor security boats in July 2012. The U.S. Navy, Everett, Washington asked GSA to dispose of the vessels, which had most equipment removed from them, including the engines. The U.S. Navy requested $10,000 for the sale of each boat but the boats sold for $28,388 and $22,010 each after a seven day online auction.
U.S. Forest Service mules Annie and Blue, and a horse named Hooker, found new homes at $50 each thanks to the Federal Acquisition Service’s Personal Property Division.