Browsing: General Services Administration

GSA turns 65 the only way possible – by talking about how much things have changed

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The General Services Administration is celebrating its 65th birthday by highlighting how much government work has changed over the decades. Ori Hoffer, social media strategist at GSA, said in a blog post that employees used to use manual typewriters and process contract bids by hand, but now use a wide array of technology to help shorten and simplify the process. The agency also has evolved from testing natural gas as a vehicle fuel to using electric and hybrid cars in its rental fleet. “While the people and the technology have changed, and the mission statement may be a bit different,…

GSA "Billionaire" parody creator files copyright, lawmaker wants it back

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On April 2, 2012 a General Services Administration Inspector General report detailed wasteful practices at an $823,000, 2010 regional conference in Las Vegas, leading to the ouster of GSA’s top leadership and reforming government conference spending. A music-video parody of Travie McCoy’s music video for ‘Billionaire’ featuring Bruno Mars by then GSA employee Hank Terlaje titled “The Commissioner Project” and shown at the conference quickly became one of the most famous – or infamous – parts of the ongoing scandal. It’s also quite catchy. (Full disclosure: Terlaje says in the song that every time he closes his eyes he sees…

GSA to ask public for feedback on agency drivers

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The General Services Administration is launching an initiative to promote safer driving  by making it easier for the public to report the misuse of a government vehicle, according to the agency. GSA will place a “How’s My Driving?” decal on 1,050 GSA vehicles within its internal fleet that will direct the public to report improper use of a government car to driving.gsa.gov. The initiative will streamline the reporting process and give the public one place to voice their concerns, according to the agency. From the press release: GSA remains committed to promoting vehicle safety. This program allows the American people…

Shelanski, Tangherlini nominations get the go-ahead from Senate committee

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave quick approval this afternoon to candidates for two long-vacant executive branch positions. On voice votes, the panel endorsed the nominations of Dan Tangherlini to head the General Services Administration and Howard Shelanski to lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. Both nominations now go to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote, according to a news release. Tangherlini has been acting head of GSA since April of last year, but President Obama picked him to permanently fill the job only last month. The OIRA post…

GSA IG uncovers Craigslist computer scheme

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An undercover investigation by the General Services Administration’s watchdog office has  traced second-hand computer equipment originally costing the U.S. government about $25 million to more than a dozen sham educational organizations and, ultimately, back to one man: Steven Alexander Bolden. Federal prosecutors in Tacoma, Wash., earlier this month filed fraud charges against Bolden, saying he tricked the government into believing he represented schools and thus was eligible for access to GSA’s Computers for Learning program. Under the program, agencies, as permitted by law, can transfer surplus computers and technology equipment to schools and nonprofit educational groups. The investigation, which was…

When contract talks get heated, who's in charge?

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Time and time again, big contractors went over the heads of General Service Administration contracting officers who were trying to negotiate good prices for the government. But when it came time to choose, GSA supervisors sided with the contractors. That’s the conclusion of recent GSA Office of Inspector report that raises troubling questions about the enormous pressure contracting officers can come under from contractors with close ties to managers and even members of Congress. While GSA says it’s got new management and won’t tolerate such interference nowadays, the bigger questions are whether this sort of thing happens elsewhere, not just…

GSA to launch cloud broker pilot

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The General Services Administration is moving forward with plans to stand up a cloud broker contract for acquiring and managing the performance of federal cloud services. The Department of Homeland Security is one of two agencies that has committed to testing GSA’s cloud broker model in a pilot program expected to launch this fall, said GSA’s Mark Day. Speaking Monday at the annual Management of Change conference in Maryland, Day said GSA will award one contract to test the concept of a broker model and reevaluate the pilot by year’s end to determine how it could be expanded. GSA has not yet defined…

Contract flaws found in GSA Disney trip

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More than half of the attendees at a big training meeting in 2011 for the General Services Administration’s acquisition arm hailed from the Washington area, but when it came time to figure out a location, officials headed to sunny Orlando instead. As outlined in a memo released by the GSA’s Inspector General this week, a review found that Federal Acquisition Service officials settled on a contract proposal for conference planning and training that came to nearly a quarter million dollars, while the next highest vendor proposed just $79,784. Despite the price, the IG found that officials essentially steered the conference…

GSA reviewing impact of security flaw in its vendor system

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The General Services Administration has launched a full review of its key online procurement system, after discovering a security vulnerability that may have exposed users’ sensitive data. The security flaw was reported to GSA on March 8, and the agency has since issued a software patch on the system and is investigating potential impacts to vendors registered in GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM). “When we got the word that this might be the case, we got right on it,” GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini told reporters Tuesday following a congressional hearing. “And there is nothing that we won’t do,…

GSA seeks industry input for cloud security program

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Federal officials are working to streamline the government’s security program for cloud products and services. A critical part of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)mandates that cloud vendors hire a third-party organization to verify they meet federal security requirements. Today, the General Services Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology must first approve those third party-organizations, or 3PAOs. Then there’s the task of monitoring the performance of the 3PAOs and recommending whether to renew or revoke their status. In a request for information to industry, GSA asked for input on how to privatize the accreditation process for 3PAOs. As FedRAMP…

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