A project by an agency that launches an AI challenge to deliver better healthcare outcomes may sound like something that would come from the VA or HHS, but, in reality, it’s a GSA program launched earlier this month.  Similarly, ask someone what agency hosts a federal “workplace innovation lab” and they’d probably say OPM.  The Department of Energy may be thought of as taking the lead on a host of zero carbon or greenhouse gas policies, but, again, that’s GSA.  The scope of GSA actions is certainly ambitious, but that ambition can cut both ways for contractors.  While new initiatives may provide business opportunities for companies involved in AI, for example, the focus away from core real estate management and acquisition operations may mean a distracted leadership that has little time to work on such matters.  The AI initiative is being managed by GSA’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), the pet operation of GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan.  The project is just one example of Carnahan using TTS to advance projects she believes to be important that may have little to do with acquisition or real estate.  While the GSA Administrator doesn’t always focus on acquisition issues, Carnahan’s predecessor Emily Murphy did just that, enabling the advancement of less flashy projects such as the expansion of TDR inside the Schedules program and the advancement of non-priced IDIQ contracts.  These issues don’t grab headlines but did help improve the business of government.  GSA contractors certainly have some very good people at GSA with whom they can work on major projects, but it seems obvious that core agency missions are not on the leadership’s radar.