WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the hearing, “Nomination of Denise T. Roth to be Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration.” Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del), as prepared for delivery:
“Today our Committee convenes to consider the nomination of Denise Turner Roth to be Administrator of the General Services Administration. I welcome Ms. Roth before our Committee and thank her for her willingness to serve as Administrator.
“The General Services Administration (GSA) has a mission that is near and dear to my heart, and that is to help other agencies do more for less. By helping other agencies with contracting, information technology solutions, and property management, GSA is a catalyst for both reducing expenses and improving performance.
“When we take a government-wide approach to management – instead of letting agencies all operate in stovepipes – we really can save a tremendous amount of money. For example, when we leverage the buying power of the federal government through the strategic sourcing initiative, we can save billions in what we spend on supplies and other items. In fact, earlier in the year, the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office, Gene Dodaro, reminded our Committee that for every additional percent of federal contracting we can do through strategic sourcing, we could save $4 billion.
“Another issue where GSA plays a vital role in saving taxpayer dollars is real property management. Last month, this Committee heard from the Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service at GSA, Mr. Norman Dong. Mr. Dong testified on actions GSA is taking to consolidate space, improve space utilization, and support the Office of Management and Budget in the government-wide effort to reduce the federal footprint.
“I am encouraged by the work underway to address this longstanding issue. The National Strategy for the Efficient Use of Real Property and the Reduce the Footprint policies provide a framework to enhance agency management of real property, reduce the footprint, and save taxpayer dollars.
“However, much more needs to be done to remove this issue from the Government Accountability Office’s High Risk List, including work here in Congress. I look forward to hearing from Ms. Roth today for her thoughts on real property reform and look forward to working with her as we contemplate legislation addressing this issue.
“Ms. Roth has served as Deputy Administrator of GSA since February of 2014, and has served as Acting Administrator of GSA since March of this year, when her predecessor, Dan Tangherlini, left the agency. We will not even have to wait for her to hit the ground running because she already is running, and carrying the baton on the innovations at GSA that Mr. Tangherlini had started.
“Ms. Roth also has great management experience at the local level, having served in the administration of Mayor Tony Williams here in the District of Columbia, and then later as Assistant City Manager and then City Manager of Greensboro, North Carolina. I also note for my colleagues that Ms. Roth has the strong support of her predecessor, Mr. Tangherlini. He is someone who is widely respected on both sides of the aisle on this Committee. In getting to know Ms. Roth, I believe she will carry on with Dan’s pragmatic, non-partisan approach to finding solutions to problems.
“Ms. Roth, I look forward to hearing about your vision for GSA and a discussion of the property, contracting and other management challenges across the government that GSA can help address.”