GSA Restructures to Create Federal Acquisition Service
The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced details of a new organizational structure that will combine the Federal Technology Service (FTS) and Federal Supply Service (FSS) into a single Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) with six regional offices. The FAS national office will set policy and take the lead on agency initiatives.
- Creation of the position of FAS Commissioner
The Commissioner will be responsible for setting the overall direction of the FAS, executing policy, establishing standard operating procedures and resource allocation.
Acting FAS Commissioner Barbara L. Shelton recently appointed Deidre A. Lee FAS Assistant Commissioner for Integrated Technology Services.
Lee will be responsible for FAS technology and professional service offerings to customer agencies and the acquisition workforce, as well as for the development and delivery of major technology and telecommunications initiatives such as Networx and Alliant.
- Creation of five National Program Offices:
The National Customer Accounts and Research office will focus on customer strategic planning, opportunity management, and marketing.
The National Acquisition Management office will ensure the consistent application of acquisition policy across FAS, conduct acquisition vehicle reviews, develop training requirements, and work on acquisition vehicle rationalization.
The National General Supplies and Services office will offer general products, supply chain and distribution services, and facilities maintenance, as well as assist customers with general supply buying needs and donation and sale of excess personal property.
The National Integrated Technology Solutions office will provide information technology, professional, and telecommunications services and procurement assistance through government-wide acquisition vehicles.
The National Travel, Motor Vehicles, and Card Services office will provide travel, relocation, freight management, and card services.
- Creation of six zonal offices for local customer service delivery
The new FAS organization will include six zones within the 11 existing GSA regions to provide direct customer services. The zones will be organized as follows:
Zone A: New England, Northeast, and Caribbean regions
Zone B: Mid-Atlantic and
National Capital regions
Zone C: Southeast-Sunbelt and Great Lakes regions
Zone D: Greater Southwest region
Zone E: Heartland and Rocky Mountain Regions
Zone F: Pacific Rim and Northwest/Arctic regions
“We are cautiously optimistic about the ‘new and improved’ GSA,” says Chris Jahn, President of the Contract Services Association (CSA). “The direct reporting to headquarters, as well as a consolidation of the regional offices, is a tremendous improvement under the new structure. This will improve efficiencies and consistency with policy guidance and operations.
“In the past, customers and industry were frequently confused about what was being done or how things were done, how they were priced, and what they were paying for,” Jahn says. “These inconsistencies have long been a major source of problems identified by GSA-initiated audits of the various regional contract service centers, and they often led to ‘answer shopping’ across regions until one found an answer [one] liked. The new organizational structure should address that concern.”
Jahn sounds a cautionary note, however, over language included in the Senate’s version of the FY06 Treasury and Transportation Appropriations bill, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee-approved bill would prohibit GSA from using FY06 funds to implement its reorganization structure.
“Should that language ultimately be enacted, then the GSA plans will never come to fruition,” Jahn says.
CSA has participated in several congressional hearings and GSA “Industry Days,” providing comments on issues that GSA should consider as it reorganizes. CSA also is a founding member of the “One GSA Coalition,” which was formed to facilitate vendor communications with GSA and is comprised of associations representing thousands of GSA Schedule and Multiple Award Contract Holders.
Association members are service contractors representing more than 200 companies that provide a wide array of services to federal, state, and local governments. Members perform more than $40 billion in government contracts and employ nearly 500,000 workers, with two-thirds of CSA companies using private-sector union labor.
The companies represent the diversity of the government services industry and include everything from small businesses to global, multi-billion dollar corporations.
For more information about the Federal Acquisition Service or GSA initiatives, please go online to visit www. govinfo.bz/5195-153.