The General Services Agency or GSA is the official custodian of all government assets ranging from buildings, vehicles to chairs and desks. The GSA as custodian of all government assets is responsible for all government properties, including private buildings rented by government and government buildings rented by private individuals.
In the past, this agency of government was responsible for procuring all government assets. And so it was the hottest posting for all government appointees.
But because of the fraud in procurement that led to the decentralization of the procurement process, with all government ministries and agencies carrying on their own procurement, many of those currently seeking government’s appointment consider GSA as a place for government junks.
However, that story is changing. Mr. Alphonso Gaye, the immediate past Minister of Transport whose team led the ministry to achieve the highest revenue collection honor from the Ministry of Finance is driving that change.
Gaye told this paper last Tuesday that in addition to continuing the codification of all government assets, which was started by his predecessor, Willard Russell, there are new measures being put in place to ensure that GSA become much more serviceable to the government and not a junk yard as many think.
Gaye said he has put in place a structural arrangement that would transform the agency, maintaining that GSA is not a custodian of government junks. He said as part of the new measures being put in place, all junks which are no longer usable by the government would be auctioned.
“There were times you could not distinguish junks from usable or new items in this place, these are becoming things of the past,” he said.
He said GSA now has in place a documenting system and a procedure that would ensure that junk items are totally separated from new and fairly used items.
Gaye said in addition to this, his team has put together a fleet management policy, that once accepted would empower the agency to closely monitor government vehicles and other assets.
At present, whenever the president is touring the counties, all chairs and desk and everything that will be needed at that function are transported from Monrovia to the President’s destination. But Gaye says what he intends to do is to establish regional hubs to serve these counties.
For instance, he says under this decentralized process, Grand Gedeh will serve as regional hub for the South Eastern Counties. So that instead of carrying chairs and other materials and staff from Monrovia, those materials will already be on the ground.
He said this will also involve the hiring of local staff to save the huge per diems and traveling allowances often pay to Monrovia based staff. However, he says there will be at least two to four staff from Monrovia to help train those in the counties who would eventually man those facilities.
Gaye said at these hubs, GSA also plans to establish lube bays and mini garages. This, he said will serve all government vehicles and will also enable the agency to monitor the mileage of these vehicles. Gaye said most of these programs are things he met on the file and thinks is good.
He said between now and June of this year, the lube bays will be established here in Monrovia and that there will be restriction place on the garages for servicing government vehicles in addition to the GSA mini garages.
The agency has all the technical experts, he said. He said GSA has some of the well trained electricians, technicians, mechanics, carpenters, and so on, and that the agency has planned to tap into these talents.
Gaye says it is his desire that the various government ministries and agencies would take advantage of the expertise at the GSA to do some of their jobs. For instance, he says all the construction work at the GSA is done by GSA staff.
He said all the jobs, electrical, construction, pluming, etc are done by GSA employees and that huge money paid to private contractors could be save and use for different purposes if these talents are harnessed.
Gaye says it is hope that after his tenure at the GSA, most of these policies which are being developed would have been approved and that the decentralization would have taken off. He bemoaned that fact that other ministries and agencies would have to spend huge money outside of government for jobs that can be done by people already in the employ of GSA.
He said it is hope to change this trend to save government’s much needed resources that could be directed to the health sector and educational sectors.