GSA’s Murphy opens up about her ascertainment decision, 3 years of successes, challenges

  • GSA’s Murphy opens up about her ascertainment decision, 3 years of successes, challenges

    Posted by on December 24, 2020 at 12:20 AM

    In her three years as the administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy faced many a tough decision.

    She decided it was time to consolidate the $38 billion multiple awards schedules program from 24 schedules down to one.

    Murphy oversaw the implementation in all of the agency’s acquisition programs of the provisions addressing supply chain security that banned certain Chinese telecommunications products, addressing competition at the task order level and the somewhat controversial e-commerce platform program.

    GSA Administrator Emily Murphy focused on four priorities over the last three years and accomplished several of her goals.

    She also had to deal with the fallout of the FBI’s decision not to relocate to a new headquarters. Murphy had to decide how GSA should adapt and continue to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as provide contract support for other agencies to make buildings safer and technology available.

    But the one decision that Murphy may be remembered most for was the one to ascertain the 2020 presidential election — that is, for when she actually made the ascertainment.

    “Ascertain means to determine with certainty. So as a threshold matter, it’s important to note that, as the administrator, I wasn’t picking or certifying the winner of the presidential election. Instead, it’s the administrator’s role under the Presidential Transition Act to determine with certainty what resources and services should be made available to the apparent successful candidate to assist in the event

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