President Clinton's creation of the National Performance Review as a means to reinvent government presented a unique opportunity for GSA to further its efforts to increase innovation and excellence and to deliver more responsive, cost-effective service to its customers. On March 15, 1993, GSA formed a Performance Review Council, comprising representatives from GSA business areas and regions, to address Vice President Gore's priorities for reinventing government. The Council began with an agencywide call for ideas to make GSA more effective and to save taxpayers money.
Many of these ideas were woven into an "Agenda for Action,'' which represents GSA's initial planning efforts to capture the spirit of entrepreneurial governance. It identifies opportunities for GSA leadership to respond to information age challenges in the workforce and workplace and identifies systemic problems--involving governmentwide rules, regulations, and systems--that must be solved to create a government that works better and costs less.
When, on April 9, Vice President Gore asked GSA to establish an agency reinvention team and designate reinvention laboratories, GSA acted quickly to do so. The laboratories are described below.
Regionwide Laboratories: Philadelphia and Denver. These reinvention laboratories are designed for regionwide implementation, encompassing all activities within the region. They encourage employees to take a fresh look at the ways they accomplish their work, with an eye toward removing any impediments placed on them. The regions have been given blanket authority to waive GSA rules or regulations.
Interagency Fleet Consolidation Lab.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to rapidly consolidate Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Department of Energy fleets, consisting of over 4,000 vehicles, into the GSA's Interagency Fleet Management System (IFMS), resulting in savings to taxpayers of over $1 million annually. In addition, it will avoid repeating lengthy cost/benefit studies that consistently have demonstrated these consolidations are substantially beneficial to everyone.
The lab brings together volunteers, communities, environmental and energy concerns, and intergovernmental cooperation to aid federal employees traveling long distances between home and Washington, D.C.
Automatic Data Processing Support Services Lab. This reinvention laboratory is designed to test three new ways of providing federal customers with private sector information technology (IT) support. The first will move GSA to a support role, allowing customer agencies to deal more directly with vendors; the second will expand IT support services to interested state and local governments; the third will give customers greater choice by making multiple vendors available for the same services.
Commercial Products Acquisition Lab.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to provide an electronic ordering and billing interface among agencies, GSA, and vendors for certain high-demand commercial products. It will reduce procurement paperwork for customer agencies, centralize billing for all parties, and enhance GSA's inventory control.
Local Telecommunications Lab.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to demonopolize local telecommunications services in Kansas City, Missouri, and allow open competition for dial tone services, including provisions for expanded optional support, such as cable management and video services.
Governmentwide Electronic Mail Lab.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to establish governmentwide electronic mail between certain federal agencies, including a common directory and a "Help Desk'' to respond to user questions.
Office Products Regional Commodity Center.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to establish new ways of providing office supplies, paper, and packaging products to the federal community. The lab will test fundamental changes to contracting and will implement statistical process control techniques to isolate supplier problems before manufacturing begins. Customer agencies will benefit by greater on-time delivery of high-quality, low-cost products.
Time and Attendance Lab.
This reinvention laboratory is designed to replace manual time card procedures with an efficient and secure electronic input system. This will reduce labor-intensive paperwork and save time for federal employees.
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