With $5.55 billion of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package slated for federal green building projects and another $300 million set aside for the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles for federal agencies, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) expects to play a key role in advancing the goals of the legislation.

The agency announced that it will create a nationally managed, regionally executed program management office staffed with experts in various fields to support regional teams delivering the stimulus projects.

“GSA is in terrific position to connect agencies with cost-effective, high-quality and environmentally friendly commercial products and services,” said acting Administrator Paul Prouty. “We are thrilled by this unique opportunity to be a part of the solution to our nation’s economic crisis.”

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which Obama signed into law Feb. 17, directs $750 million to renovate and construct federal buildings and courthouses, $300 million to renovate and construct land ports of entry and $4.5 billion to convert federal buildings to high-performance green buildings. GSA’s Public Buildings Service is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of thousands of federally owned facilities for more than 1 million civilian employees of the government at 60 different agencies.

Anthony Costa, acting commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service, noted that the renovation of federal facilities will “help get people back to work,” which is one of the main objectives of the stimulus bill.

“We can help stimulate the economy by getting money flowing to the building industries – to construction workers, electricians, plumbers, air conditioning mechanics, carpenters, architects and engineers,” Costa said.

GSA provides vehicle-acquisition services for federal agencies through the Federal Acquisition Service. The current GSA fleet contains about 80,000 alternative-fuel vehicles, and the agency said it will work with federal agencies to determine the best method to evaluate vehicles eligible for replacement and fund those that would provide the largest benefit through decreased use of fuel and emission reduction.

GSA noted it will be involved in the stimulus funding disbursement in other ways, including:

  • Helping all agencies acquire goods and services at best value through existing contract vehicles such as multiple-award schedules, governmentwide acquisition contracts and multiple-agency contracts.
  • Launching, managing and supporting recovery.gov – the official recovery Web site of the federal government – to track recovery spending. Recovery.gov will report the progress on the stimulus funding for the American public.

GSA said it does not anticipate significant increases in the number of permanent employees at the agency. Some personnel will be redeployed within GSA, or contracted, to reduce the need for permanent staffing, according to the agency.