GSA Administrator Murphy Eyeing Billions More in Federal Savings

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), delivered a keynote address today that provided a glimpse of her vision as the head of GSA, along with recent government IT wins and the path she sees ahead for the agency serving as the Federal facilitator for IT acquisition and modernization.

“We’re a GSA that’s much more agile and much more responsive to the changing needs of our customers,” Murphy said today at the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council’s Imagine Nation ELC Conference.

“The challenge I’ve got is: How do we reimagine how we deliver on that mission? How do we figure out how to better engage our employees? How do we better serve our customers? How do we create opportunities for our vendors to better provide solutions across the government?”

Murphy said that in order to empower GSA employees, IT Modernization is the No. 1 enabler. “Tools enable change,” she said, pointing to the Technology Modernization Fund and the use of robotics process automation.

For GSA’s Federal agency customers, she expressed the need to reform the acquisition process. “GSA’s working to create a new Federal marketplace,” and is also working on “evolving” schedules and contract vehicles, which she characterized as some of the “key complaints” from GSA’s Federal agency customers.

New dynamic pricing is just one of the goals, and Murphy also highlighted the recently-awarded $2.5 billion NewPay contract to revamp Federal payroll systems. “We’re expecting savings of up to 75 percent,” she said.

Beyond future expectations, she was also happy to relay some of the recent achievements that have already been realized, including “early wins” from GSA’s Centers of Excellence (CoE) Initiative. The first agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was able to top its goals for data center closures with the help of the CoEs.

“It’s really driving a culture of change, where you’re embracing all the opportunities that technology creates, how it allows us to provide better customer experience,” she said.

Regarding the second CoE agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Murphy said, “We’ve got a meeting at the White House tomorrow to really officially launch their center of excellence.”

“This opportunity to create greater value is really where I see GSA evolving,” Murphy said. “In fiscal ’18, GSA was able to save or avoid $6 billion in costs for taxpayers and for our customer agencies. Our goal is to save $6.2 billion in fiscal ’19,” she said, underscoring how the agency is setting ambitious targets for the Federal IT ecosystem.

“Hopefully in the next two years I’ll be able to come back and say we have a Federal marketplace in place, we have a strategic leasing initiative in place, we have a shared services initiative that’s really delivering services, and at the end of the day, we’ve increased savings, satisfaction, and simplification across government,” she said.

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