Legislation Will Secure Vital Changes
Posted May 19, 2005
The two trains driving GSA’s internal reorganization – one in Congress, one at GSA - will eventually link up in a way that enables significant changes to occur – and ensures that the resulting improvements don’t get derailed in the future.
Congressional approval is required for one key part of the Federal Technology Service (FTS)/Federal Supply Service (FSS) reorganization, namely the merger of the General Supply Fund and Information Technology Fund. The creation of a single fund will lead to improved service delivery and financial management, according to senior GSA officials.
Other parts of the GSA Modernization Act (HR 2066), sponsored by House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., essentially mirror the reorganization proposal drafted by GSA officials.
“The Chairman’s legislation, if passed and signed into law, will guarantee that the changes we’re working on - and which will improve performance and efficiency at GSA - remain in effect in the future,” said Susan Marshall, Assistant Administrator of GSA’s Office of Performance Improvement.
GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry has said that the FTS/FSS reorganization will strengthen GSA’s capability to meet increasing customer requirements for excellence in the acquisition of information technology and other products and services. It will also make it easier for industry contractors to understand and use GSA acquisition processes, and enhance the efficiency of GSA’s administrative support functions by consolidating certain activities that are now performed in separate units.
Davis’ bill, which recently passed committee, would combine FTS and FSS into a new organization called the “Federal Acquisition Service.” Davis said his goal is to “help bring GSA in line with the current commercial market that has evolved from stand alone hardware or services to solutions that are a mix of products, services and technology.”
“Two separate buying organizations operating out of two different funds has become a barrier to coordinated acquisition of management services and the technology needed to support a total solution,” he said.
Marshall said GSA agrees, and that is why Administrator Perry announced the FTS/FSS reorganization plan last January 28. At that time, Perry appointed a 10-member steering team to begin documenting the scope of work and to identify areas of opportunity. Several task force teams were subsequently named to concentrate on specific areas and develop specific implementation plans.
Perry has set July as the deadline for a complete reorganization plan for all FTS and FSS business lines and administrative functions.