The General Services Administration, or the GSA, is a large organization that provides materials and services for many different branches and departments within the federal government, and it is a broad and nearly comprehensive body that does many different kinds of work. Defense contractors often call upon the GSA for materials and equipment, and other departments aside from defense contractors may need the GSA’s services as well, such as environmental cleanup crews to firefighters to office workers. What kind of work does the GSA do for defense contractors and others?
How the GSA Works
The GSA has a considerable responsibility every year for the federal government and its workers. Its Schedules program is divided into around 30 “Schedules”, or contracts, that re then categorized by the industries that they are relevant to, so overall, the GSA’s Security Schedule boasts over 100 subcategories. These subcategories are known as Special Item Numbers, or SINs. Automotive services are one such services provided; every year, the GSA will procure over 65,000 vehicles, such as jeeps, trucks, police cars, and fire engines, which totals to over $1 billion in high-quality vehicles and other services on the road. Defense contractors would usually procure jeeps, intelligence-gathering vehicles, and armored cars, among others, for combat operations.
Defense contractors may also ask for special operational equipment for combat units and police, anything from firearms and their accessories like laser sights or scopes (or other types of firearm optics), all the way to tear gas canisters or body armor for personnel. C4ISR is another service that the GSA can provide to defense contractors, where C4ISR is shorthand for Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. This is he broad service of giving equipment to defense contractors to gather and make use of information on enemy forces or other threats and prepare appropriate responses to them, as well as centralizing the command structure so that orders can be given for maximum effect under accurate intelligence and other data. A tailored logistical support program is another way to describe any C4ISR setup that the GSA provides to whatever defense contractors need them.
The GSA provides for more peaceful endeavors as well. It can supply buildings for office work, as well as the supplies in them, from desks to paper and computers, making the GSA a huge office supplier in this sense. And as explained at AllGov, the GSA can provide other work such as environmental protection and historical building preservation. The GSA is responsible for preventing environmental harm from the activities and properties of the federal government, especially in regards to construction, operation, maintenance, and disposal of federal estates. Pest management, water preservation, fire hazard prevention, and asbestos management also fall under the GSA’s list of responsibilities. And when it comes to historic buildings in the United States, the GSA can work to maintain them and keep them operational and structurally safe.
Fire and emergency services are also the responsibility of the GSA, and fire equipment government contracts can ensure that fire trucks, uniforms, hoses, gas masks, and other search and rescue and firefighting equipment end up in the right hands. Something similar can be said about various police forces, where the GSA provides cars, firearms, and other equipment for law enforcement agencies that need them.