The General Services Administration needs to better target the buildings it uses in swap-construction exchanges, a recently released July 24 Government Accountability Office report. GSA has completed two swap-construction exchanges in which the agency exchanges title to federal property for constructed assets or construction services, such as renovation work, the report says.
The General Services Administration is looking for information on transforming a Transportation Department building into a state-of-the-art facility for transportation research, an Aug. 26 GSA statement says. The agency issued a Request for Information seeking creative ideas from the real estate development community to redevelop the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center property in Cambridge, Mass.
Federal procurement officers tend to favor lowest price over technically acceptable contract vehicles because of the scrutiny placed on spending in tough budget times and that makes it difficult for those contracting officers to take risks, Federal Acquisition Service Regional Commissioner Tiffany Hixson said in an interview. "Right now there is a culture of being risk averse almost to point of taking no risk for fear of being criticized," Hixson said. "That's really driving some of the LPTA preference."
The General Services Administration and the Air Force established a working group to help identify ways to save money on enterprise-wide contracts, an Aug. 18 GSA blog post says. The working group will look into which GSA contracts the Air Force can use to cut costs, but still complete its mission, the blog post says.
Per diem rates for federal workers won't change in fiscal 2015, according to an Aug. 13 General Services Administration notice published in the Federal Register. The standard lodging per diem rate will remain at $83 and meals and incidental expense tiers, ranging from $46 to $71, also remain unchanged.
The Defense Department isn't promoting utility programs that would reduce electricity use in its buildings during peak hours, a recently released July 11 Government Accountability Office report says. Private electric grid operators offer demand-response programs that provide customers with financial incentives to reduce power use during periods of peak demand, the report says.
The General Services Administration has awarded 95 percent of its contracts for the third iteration of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies, an Aug. 12 GSA statement says. GSA issued 21 FSSI OS3 contracts, with 20 of them going to small businesses and there's potential for more small business contracts pending further review, the emailed statement says.
The Obama administration has formed a small government team of technology experts that will help federal agencies identify and fix problems similar to what a group did for the troubled Healthcare.gov site last year.
The General Services Administration finalized contracts that it says will save the federal government billions on airfare in fiscal 2015. Under GSA's City Pair Program airfare rates for the federal government's official travel are pre-negotiated and fixed-price for a year offering a 23 percent discount below corporate benchmark fares, an Aug. 7 GSA statement says.
The U.S. government has made progress in developing policies for sustainably using and recycling electronic equipment in federal agencies, according to a new interagency report.