GSA was established on December 1, 1974 by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to provide a single administration responsible for the County's internal support services. Before the creation of GSA these functions were dispersed in various other agencies. Through centralization of these services, it was felt that costs could be identified and reduced through continuing evaluation, efficiency methods, standardization, and volume purchasing. Having one agency responsible for countywide infrastructure for agencies/department staff, insures that these critical but oftentimes invisible services which include safety of buildings and work spaces for the public and county employees, are reliable and available.
What Was Changed
- From the Public Works Department tasks related to motor vehicles and building maintenance, such as engineering and architectural services, planning and designing county buildings, supervising and inspecting construction of county buildings, capital projects, property management-providing property and lease management for all departments of the County, acquiring real property and building, managing county parking lots and vehicles, were moved to GSA.
- The County Communications Department, responsible for countywide telecommunications services and 800 MHz radio systems, was brought under this new umbrella organization.
- The County Purchasing Department, providing copy making, duplicating, bindery and bookbinding services, and messenger and delivery services for county agencies, became part of GSA. Purchasing also included the County Store, which was a warehouse storing materials, supplies, equipment and other personal property commonly used by county agencies and any city or town district who contracted for services with the Board of Supervisors.
GSA has adapted as work processes changed with the innovation of new technologies and services. In 1981 courthouse elevator operations were eliminated. In 1995 GSA closed the County Laundry that provided services to county hospitals and other facilities. The County Store, which housed furniture, office supplies, janitorial supplies, medical supplies, paper products, bedding and laboratory supplies, was also closed.
GSA's mandated programs include purchasing services, maintenance of County Veterans' Memorial Buildings, preference for local businesses and products, waste reduction and recycling services, the Green Buildings Ordinance, Hazardous Materials Abatement and provision of facilities and services to the Superior Courts. Services in GSA are provided through the Agency's Administration, Building Maintenance, Communications, Technical Services, Purchasing Department, Business Outreach and Compliance Office, Real Property and Portfolio Management departments.
Recognizing that the organization must be competitive in providing its services, in 2002 GSA conducted an evaluation of its services to both external and internal customers and this resulted in a GSA Business Plan focused on improving customer service. GSA's mission is to provide high quality services that are on time, fiscally responsible, and convenient for our customers. Its vision is to achieve the greatest value for our customers through innovative, proactive and convenient service solutions.
Current projects within GSA include the Juvenile Justice Center and the East County Courthouse, completion of the North County Self Sufficiency Center, providing lead technical support for the regional effort for radio interoperability to meet mandates of the Homeland Security grant programs, beginning the design for the Castro Valley Library and the Fire Department Maintenance Facility, and the replacement of the acute tower at Highland Hospital. GSA assists in the development and monitoring of the County's Capital Plan, studies for the Fairmont Campus, master plan development for a downtown Oakland Alameda County Government Center, and implemented the Business Outreach and Compliance Office (BOCO) to maximize the utilization of local small businesses, ensure compliance of the Small, Local Emerging Business (SLEB) program requirements and the Construction Outreach Program.
There have been four GSA Directors in the Agency's history: Fred McFarlane, Stephen Scheinman, Darlene Smith, and currently Aki Nakao.