Posted by Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Technology Services
It’s the first anniversary of GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Wireless blanket purchase agreements (BPAs), a program designed to save and consolidate government spending on wireless costs.
To commemorate the program’s first birthday, take a look at what we’ve done.
Turning Up the Savings
Today the 18 agencies using the FSSI Wireless BPAs are achieving an average savings of 24 percent compared to their previous wireless agreements and current average rates across government as a whole. A good example is the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which achieved 30 percent savings.
In FY 2014, the average monthly adoption growth through January has exceeded 100 percent. As of March 31, the program exceeded $1 million in spend for FY 2014. As the FSSI Wireless program continues to grow, we believe the federal government will realize $0.24 savings for every dollar spent on wireless services and devices.
Providing Additional Program Options
FSSI Wireless customers now have the option to use both eBuy and Reverse Auction to purchase FSSI Wireless services, which can help lower agency costs even more.
It all comes down to this. Sixteen buildings began the competition, and after two weeks of tough voting, we have the final pairing. From San Francisco, comes the recently renovated 50 UN Plaza which will battle it out with the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building from San Antonio. Each has a number of energy-saving and environmentally conscious features. Each is a historic building that has been modernized. Each is located in a city that has a number of championships from the sports world.
So look each building over and make your choice for your favorite green federal building.
Here are the results of the semifinal round (in % of votes):
50 United Nations Plaza def. U.S. Coast Guard HQ 55-45
Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building def. Tuscaloosa Federal Building 53-47
This is a competition for entertainment and informational purposes only, and the winner’s prize is bragging rights for the year. We hope you learn something about GSA’s sustainability efforts and that you’ll share this with your friends on social media using hashtag #FBC14. Follow us on Twitter (@usgsa) or Facebook (facebook.com/GSA) for reminders when the next round of voting begins. You may vote once a day.
Today, we are very excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the third round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. This initiative pairs talented, diverse individuals from outside government with top Federal innovators to implement game-changing projects that make the Federal Government work better for the American people.
At its core, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is as strong as the incredible people that are willing to join this effort and serve their country. That’s why we want the best and brightest individuals—original thinkers, gifted designers, tech-savvy strategists, private-sector doers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and talented developers and engineers—to offer up their skills and expertise to create huge value for the American public.
Round 3 will include 14 projects that focus on addressing three high-impact initiatives:
Making Digital the Default: Building a 21st Century Veterans Experience: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is embarking on a bold new initiative to create a “digital by default” experience for our Nation’s veterans that provides better, faster access to services and complements the Department’s work to eliminate the disability claims backlog.
Data Innovation: Unleashing the Power of Data Resources to Improve Americans’ Lives: This initiative aim to accelerate and expand the Federal Government’s efforts to liberate government data by making these information resources more accessible to the public and useable in computer readable forms, and to spur the use of those data by companies, entrepreneurs, citizens, and others to fuel the creation of new products, services, and jobs.
By the People, for the People: Crowdsourcing to Improve Government: Crowdsourcing is a powerful way to organize people, mobilize resources, and gather information. This initiative will leverage technology and innovation to engage the American public as a strategic partner in solving difficult challenges and improving the way government works—from helping NASA find asteroid threats to human populations to improving the quality of U.S. patents to unlocking information contained in government records.
More information on each project is available here.
Since the initiative launched two years ago, Presidential Innovation Fellows, along with their government teammates, have been delivering impressive results—at start-up velocity. Fellows have unleashed the power of open government data to spur the creation of new products and jobs; improved the ability of the Federal government to respond effectively to natural disasters; designed pilot projects that make it easier for new economy companies to do business with the Federal Government; and much more. Their impact is enormous.
For example, Fellows recently helped expand the Blue Button Initiative, which is helping Americans across the country gain secure, online access to their own healthcare information. Through the work of Fellows and their government teammates, the Blue Button Initiative has expanded its reach to more than 150 million Americans who are today able to use Blue Button-enabled tools to access their own health information from a variety of sources including healthcare providers, health insurance companies, medical labs, and pharmacies.
Another recent example of the Fellows in action is their work at the Smithsonian Institute to develop a crowdsourcing platform that allows the public to transcribe handwritten historic documents and records. This kind of innovative approach will not only support important research, but provide an important avenue for the public to help preserve our Nation’s history. In just six months, Fellows developed and launched an end-to-end solution for creating digital records for historic files, which in turn engaged thousands of volunteers who have helped to transcribe and review more than 3,000 historic and scientific records —which are now easily accessible to the public for the first time.
Looking ahead, the next round of Presidential Innovation Fellows will continue to build on these successes as well as tackle a new set of challenges.
This is an opportunity to truly transform how government works for the people it serves. The work will be challenging, but promises to be tremendously rewarding. The first step is to apply here. We can’t wait to see what the third round of Fellows will do!
Todd Park is US Chief Technology Officer, and in this role serves as Assistant to the President
Dan Tangherlini is Administrator of the US General Services Administration
Posted by Matthew Burrell, Press Assistant, General Services Administration
Women’s History Month is the perfect opportunity to recognize the women who serve their country and the American people. Women across the world serve with dedication, integrity, and honor, often in dangerous environments. GSA is committed to honoring these heroes.
Katherine “Kathy” Adams, a supervisory supply service representative in GSA’s National Customer Service Center, was awarded an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service from the Department of the Army for her service as GSA’s Liaison Officer at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2012. Working closely with the 10th Sustainment Brigade out of Fort Drum, New York, Adams was instrumental in tracking office furniture and sensitive communication equipment.
Northwest/Arctic Region’s Financial Management Analyst Nina Lampron served six months in Afghanistan as a Lieutenant Commander with the U.S. Navy Reserve. A 14-year Navy Reserve, Lampron was deployed as a Operations Officer for Defense Logistic Agency Dispositions Services from June-December 2013. As the Operations Officer, she provided technical advice and support to contingency bases throughout Afghanistan concerning the disposal of unserviceable materials.
Beverly Hoskins, a Northwest/Arctic Region General Supply Specialist has served a GSA Liaison Officers in Afghanistan twice supporting U.S. troops on location in Afghanistan and Kuwait in 2012 and 2013. A Tacoma, Washington resident, Hoskins spent her days assisting her military customers in fulfilling their acquisition needs ranging from whole kitchens to gym equipment, military goggles, printer toner, incinerators to ATVs and tools.
GSA Regional Emergency Coordinator Vickie Deal served as the ESF-7 Coordinator for logistics support to Federal Emergency Management Agency after flooding impacted 18 Colorado counties. A retired Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer, Deal’s military experience gives her an edge in working under these types of situations. Jan Worthy serves as a Procurement Analyst for the Rocky Mountain Regional Acquisition Office, Jan Worthy is committed to high quality work—a trait she picked up from her experience in the Air Force.
Maria Roat, GSA’s FedRAMP Director, is a U.S. Navy veteran with 26 years of active duty and reserve service, in which she obtained the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, Information Systems Technician.
Courtney J. Dietzler serves as an Emergency Planning Specialist in New York City for the Office of Emergency Response and Recovery within the United States General Services Administration (GSA), a job that reflects her duties in the U.S. Air Force where she served overseas in the Middle East during Operation Enduring Freedom and in Japan. Since joining GSA in March of 2012, she has coordinated agency support to FEMA at the Regional Response Coordination Center following SuperStorm Sandy and the New York Field Office, for which she received a Commendable Service Award by the Region 2 Regional Administrator. Dietzler continues to serve in the New York Air National Guard where she is currently a Master Sergeant.
Jillian Segarra, a Supervisory Procurement Analyst for Region 1 was stationed overseas at Aviano Air Force Base in Italy. From there she was deployed for 7 months to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she was a Contingency Contracting Officer. Her primary focus was awarding contracts supporting the repair of the busiest runway in the Area of Operation (AoR), construction of protection barriers around office buildings and living quarters, and also procurement of supplies, tools, and equipment for the busiest military hospital in the deployed location. For her hard work and dedication, she was awarded not only Airman of the Year for Aviano Air Force Base, but Contracting Airman of the Year for all of USAFE (US Air Forces Europe). She was also nominated for Airman of the Year for the Air Force.
To learn more about Women’s History Month and the employees at GSA please follow our blog at gsablogs.gsa.gov.
Posted by Dan Tangherlini, Administrator, General Services Administration
This Sunday, Mad Men’s mid-century style will be featured on many TV sets throughout the country as the show enters its final season. Don Draper’s office, complete with its closed door, heavy wooden desk, executive chair, and sofa, represents a generation of workers bound by a culture of hierarchy. The Don Drapers of the working world got the plush window offices, reinforcing their position as “boss.” At too many organizations – including many across federal government, this outdated mentality still exists. We cannot afford to run off of this 1960’s model of working.
At GSA’s 1800 F Street headquarters, everyone can have a window office. Our open workspace and hotelling system allows employees to decide where they work, no matter what position they occupy at the agency. The old Administrator’s office, which Don Draper would feel very comfortable in, is now a conference room that is used for staff meetings, and my desk is now a workstation in the middle of an open office, just like everyone else. This free flowing layout gives me the opportunity to collaborate with the men and women that help this agency meet the needs of the American people.
Many people argue that open workspaces undermine productivity. Critics have said that increased noise levels from ambient conversations interfere with workers’ ability to focus. What these critics do not take into account is the expanded opportunities workers have for quiet space because of open workspaces. Eliminating personal offices and consolidating staff in a collaborative environment creates space for smaller, isolated workspaces that are available to all employees, allowing for a democracy of quiet. No longer is it just the “boss” that can retreat to his/her office to concentrate on heads-down work. Now, any GSA employee can take advantage of the available quiet rooms at our headquarters, whether it’s a contracting officer who needs to review an agreement or an IT specialist who is working on code.
Federal agencies need to respond to the needs of the modern worker, giving employees the tools and the space necessary to help government fulfill its core mission to serve the American people. The open workspace concept is about more than innovative interior design, it is a way to make sure that every worker can support their agency efficiently and effectively. Agency leaders have a responsibility to model behaviors and practices that promote a smarter government. What better way to do just that than from a window seat alongside the very men and women that help create a 21st century government? Don Draper might not like it, but just as our work has come a long way from the ‘heydays’ of the 1960′s — so must our workspaces.