Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GSA Wants Feedback on DEIA in Construction and Design Initiatives

This furthers executive orders from President Biden and GSA’s equity action plan.

The General Services Administration is looking for ways to boost diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in its construction and design initiatives. 

GSA announced a request for information on Thursday in order to further President Biden’s executive orders on increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the federal workforce and advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities through actions of the federal government as well as GSA’s equity action plan.

“GSA has engaged with industry trade associations and public sector agencies to learn more about what types of DEIA practices and opportunities exist,” said the request published on beta.sam. “And while GSA knows there is market availability, there is more to learn from industry regarding barriers to implementation of DEIA actions as well as best practices for GSA-funded projects, and what opportunities there may be for our agency to consistently use such information and specifications in the future to improve DEIA.”

The questions for design and construction firms, including small businesses, revolve around recruitment, training, career advancement, leadership, community impact, types of construction projects, diversity and inclusion initiatives, in addition to specifics about the company’s size and scope. 

Examples of questions are: “How does your company help address equity issues in the neighborhoods around your company office and/or around your projects?” and “what are the top-three benefits your firm has experienced from its engagement with diversity and inclusion initiatives in the past five years?” Responses are due by May 12. 

Charles Hardy, GSA acting chief architect said, “The public and private sectors should be learning more from each other about what is catalyzing DEIA actions—and what’s actually working—to impact positive change in industries like design and construction.” 

The equity action plan, which was released earlier this month, outlines how GSA seeks to increase equity across three key areas: federal procurement, federal buildings and federal technology.

“This plan lays out how GSA intends to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as a priority in everything we do, from delivering projects to designing websites,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan upon the release. “For [the] government to work, it needs to work for everyone.”