Federal Manager's Daily Report

The IG’s office at GSA has identified as among that agency’s major management challenges several issues affecting agencies it serves, as well as issues internal to GSA that are common among agencies.

For example, it said that in complying with directives to reduce agencies’ footprints, GSA “must select the reduction and consolidation projects that will allow it to best maintain its buildings, meet its customers’ needs, and lower the total cost incurred by government. For example, while GSA’s tenants benefit from a reduced footprint’s lower lease costs, GSA risks significant losses to the Federal Buildings Fund if it cannot backfill the vacated space that remains under lease. There are also additional costs if GSA forces an agency to move as part of a consolidation project.”

GSA plans to dispose of at least 10 million square feet of unneeded property over four years but because there are many upfront requirements the process is “lengthy”–and meanwhile the government is on the hook for ongoing maintenance, operations and security costs.

Further, 15 percent of the agency’s workforce is already retirement-eligible–about the same as government-wide–but in certain subcomponents and occupations the numbers are much higher, or soon will be. Within three years, 70 percent of financial managers and more than half of program managers in the Federal Acquisition Service will be eligible, for example, as will half of the program managers in the office of the CIO and in the Public Buildings Service; in the PBS, three-fourths of IT employees will be eligible.

GSA also faces challenges in “maintaining the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of sensitive information within its systems” and threats from “cyber security vulnerabilities, unintentional mishandling of GSA’s data, and ineffective Agency responses to reported information breaches.” Other challenges include enhancing procurement, sustaining technology transformation and safeguarding federal facilities.