GSA To Boost Service, Efficiency by Combining Funds

Posted May 11, 2005

GSA’s push to ensure taxpayer dollars buy more and go farther at times requires rethinking old ways of doing business and creating new models that will better serve the federal community in the 21st Century.

That’s precisely the idea behind the merger of the General Supply Fund, established in 1949, and the Information Technology (IT) Fund, established in 1986 as a separate GSA fund used to assist federal agencies with their acquisitions of IT and Telecommunications products and services.

"This work is a critically important part of GSA’s ongoing effort to achieve high performance and continuous improvement in providing best-value acquisition services in order to continue being the provider of choice for our federal customers," said Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Turco.

Turco, named by Administrator Stephen A. Perry as chair of the FTS/FSS Reorganization Financial Operations Task Force, said merging the funds – which requires congressional approval – is an extensive and complicated project, but necessary.

Maintaining separate funds today is impractical because GSA’s customers are now buying total solutions that require a mixture of IT and non-IT products and services, she said. Additionally, merging the two funds will improve administrative efficiency, oversight and accountability. Administrator Perry recently told Congress that the State Department’s acquisition requirements for contingency planning, continuity of operations, and management support included hardware, software, data network infrastructure, voice communications, system operations and administration. They also included non-IT requirements such as furniture and supplies, transportation, utilities, and additional services and training materials.

Because the agency needed both IT and professional services support, GSA was required to issue two separate acquisitions. In the end, State didn’t use GSA to fill its IT procurement needs because of duplicative acquisition costs and the length of time it would have taken to complete both acquisitions.

Turco said establishing a single “Acquisition Services Fund” will enable GSA to provide integrated acquisition services, and standardize and centralize financial management. This will result in better cost and capital planning, increased financial management oversight, and consistent fee setting, she said, noting that the changes could lead to operating efficiencies and reduced transactional costs.

October 1, 2005 is the target date for establishing the new Acquisition Services Fund.

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