New GSA administrator vows better ideas, performance from her agency

GSA's challenge now is to employ those characteristics and win in the federal marketplace, she said.

The General Services Administration must know its clients, meet their needs through innovation and do it well, Martha Johnson, the new GSA administrator said in a speech after her swearing-in ceremony.

“As I’ve been preparing to join GSA, I’ve been thinking hard about how GSA could extend itself, deepen our operational performance and also become better known for innovation and for customer intimacy,” she said.

Johnson said GSA must be innovative as it tries to make federal buildings and fleets of vehicles more environmentally friendly.

“We can and should and must focus on helping the government dramatically reduce its environmental footprint,” Johnson said Feb 16.

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GSA also has to be open with its information, which Johnson said will make GSA more intimate with its clients.

“We can and will take advantage of emerging technologies for sorting, sharing, networking, collective intelligence and using that information,” she said.

Johnson also said GSA was forced to offer better services in 1990s when the Clinger-Cohen Act ended its status as the mandated company store for the government. She said the law was a gift to the agency, even though it shocked some at the time.

“It has helped us grow up and made it necessary for GSA to play in the competitive arena and the real market. Our challenge now is to win in that market,” she said.

Johnson was sworn in as administrator by John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management. The Senate confirmed Johnson Feb. 4.

About the Author

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

Reader Comments

Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Cosmo Palomba Reno , Nevada

Cars for Vets; Greetings; May I suggest for our Disabled Veterans.1.) a small percent of survayed vehicles each year on an ongoing basis be allocated to our Disabled veterans of 15% or more. 2.)The Vet pays 5% the sticker price. The other 95 % is taken up by other buyers of government vehicles. The extra burden of cost is made a tax deduction

Mon, Feb 22, 2010

GSA runs the Reagan Building, and although they have separate containers for the collection of glass, plastic, cardboard and paper, they don't actually recycle the glass and plastic. The cleaning personnel take it out of sight and heave it in the trash. When GSA was asked why they don't recycle the glass and plastic, the response was, "We don't have a process for that." Hopefully Ms. Johnson will create a process for that so GSA can stop pretending to recycle plastic and glass at the Reagan Building. Of course, it makes one wonder: Does GSA pretend to recycle plastic and glass at every building they run in DC?

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