GSA Administrator lays out vision for agency


In her first television interview, General Services Administration head Emily Murphy discusses her top priorities, meeting PMA goals and the importance of ‘ethical leadership.’

The General Services Administration is home to several of the initiatives laid out in the President’s Management Agenda, but the agency’s real estate portfolio and provided services are also key to advancing the PMA’s major goals. Since her appointment to the post last year, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, has been developing her own set of goals for the agency to reach. Among other objectives, like improving transparency, Murphy is looking to simplify operations across the agency, with an eye towards reducing duplication.


“We at GSA are trying to lead the way by having one CIO, one CFO, one HR, reduce the numbers of systems in FAS down to 173, we are looking to reduce that further so we that we have the right systems in place, and that our systems are being driven by our business processes rather than our business processes being driven by systems,” said Murphy.

“It also means going outside of GSA and not just in the contracts we offer but in many cases, it is working with other agencies to make sure that, we either through a contract vehicle, through helping them with personnel, by helping them really manage the flow of information, even if the right solution is another agency… Payroll is a good example. Right now, there are four payroll providers in the federal government. We are working to see how we can do that as a software-as-a-service offering. We hope to have an RFP on the street this month.”


Another goal of Murphy’s is to “embody ethical leadership.” She says that with the amount of resources GSA manages, it’s important to remain accountable to the taxpayer.

“GSA handles about $54 billion in acquisition, we’re responsible for 491 million square feet of office space. We want to make sure that taxpayers know we are spending the money wisely. That they know we’re acting in their best interest when we make decisions about real estate,” Murphy told Government Matters.

“Ethical leadership is making sure that people have the tools so that when they see something that raises questions for them, they feel empowered to speak up… People make mistakes, but if we make a mistake, we admit it, we address it and move on.”