GSA takes budget control from regions

The General Services Administration's chief financial officer will oversee the budget and finances of the Public Buildings Service, the GSA organization involved in a recent scandal over spending abuses at a GSA conference in 2010, and the Federal Acquisition Service. The regional offices no longer have budget authority under a new administrative order released April 15.

GSA officials have given the agency’s CFO authority over the PBS's regional financial and reporting functions, the regional revenue operations and regional financial operations, according to the order. GSA also created Office of Public Building Services Financial Services, within the agency’s CFO's Office. The new office will oversee and direct PBS revenue. The head of the office will report directly to the CFO.

Within in this new office, the order establishes the PBS Financial and Reporting Division. It also establishes the PBS Revenue Division.

The order creates the PBS Financial Operations Division under the CFO’s Office of Policy and Operations. Its director will report to the CFO’s Office of Financial Policy and Operations.

The order also makes changes inside PBS’s current organizational structure.

PBS’s overarching Office of Budget and Financial Management has three divisions: the Financial Budgeting and Reporting Division, the Revenue Division, and the Financial Operations Division.

Under the new structure, the Financial Budgeting and Reporting Division now is under the new established CFO Office of PBS Financial Services’s Financial and Reporting Division.

The Revenue Division is under the CFO’s new Office of PBS Financial Services’ Revenue Division.

Finally, the Financial Operations Division is under the Office of Financial Policy and Operations's PBS Financial Operations Division.

It also creates the Office of Federal Acquisition Service Financial Services. The office will oversee FAS’s revenue, financial and reporting functions. The office’s director too will report directly to the CFO. The order gives GSA one year to set up that office. FAS’s budget and financial management function have been transferred to the CFO too.

Officials want “to improve leadership roles, accountability, and increase organizational effectiveness and efficiencies,” according to the new order.

In April, GSA has faced major scrutiny related to an $822,000 conference in 2010 hosted by several regions based in the western part of the country. Martha Johnson, GSA’s former administrator, resigned her position as the GSA inspector general released a scathing report. Several regional commissioners are on leave. Johnson fired several officials before she submitted her resignation.

The agency has undergone three congressional hearings in three days, and officials could face more hearings in the future.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 J Larry Maryland

It took over 2,000 GSA people to send $822,000 in a week. A single member of Congress will spend more that in a week while doing "research" on other agencies'. Forming more oversight will not solve the problem of people who believe they are entitled to whatever they receive. Each member of the GSA who attended the event should be required to repay the excess expense. The executives who approved this should be banned from Federal work or contracts for life. Each individual would then take more notice of financial responsibility in the future.

Fri, Apr 20, 2012

So how's that hope and change working for you? This is to be expected with Obama continually increasing the size of the federal workforce (along with the increase in the number of feds making over $150K from 12,ooo to 179,000)!! Layers of people on top of layers of people all trying to earn their wages can only create more confusion and duplication of effort. I know there are federal employees who work hard and earn their money, but I get so tired of hearing others whining on this website. I for one am voting for someone who wants to abolish federal agencies!!

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 Former GSA'er

"OK, well now a whole new office with furniture, utilities, employees with benefits, supplies, etc is created!!! Anyone see something wrong with that? So we have more expense permemnetly, cause you know you can't get rid of a govie, because of one conference out of how many that were over the top? How much is this new office going to cost for the rest of forever as compared to the $600,000 in excess? I am betting a whole bunch more especially if staffed with 15s and SESs." The cost won't be a penny more. These offices, people, infrastructure already exist at GSA, its just moving the function from PBS to CFO. If anything, it might reduce cost by getting rid of redundancies. However, the thing I'm concerned about is the fact I'm not seeing any beefing up of the internal control branches in GSA. Also, I think consolidating all this under the CFO is going to cause segregation of duty issues between budget formulation and execution. Not to mention the GSA CFO is a moron. How can she get in front of Congress and say she never sees the PBS budget?! Not only does she see it, she signs it, allocates it and has an entire branch of her budget division devoted to PBS. I know because I was there! What were those idiots doing in 2010? If I were Tangerlini I would fire the Doone for her obvious incompetence. Your the CFO of a major agency and you don't "see" the budget of your largest organization. Why NOT?!

Thu, Apr 19, 2012

If the senior GSA official who was only in place well after the expensive conference was planned was allowed to resign or presumablly be fired then why is the senior official over the agency that allowed and encouraged illegal sales of fire arms near the Mexican borde,r atleast one of which was used to kill an agent, still being protected. Isn't the life of a Federal Law Enforcement Agent more important than money. More important even than $800,000.

Thu, Apr 19, 2012

OK so they spent $800,000 which by the new suggested $200,00 limit before higher approval suggests that $200,000 would have been more acceptable. OK, well now a whole new office with furniture, utilities, employees with benefits, supplies, etc is created!!! Anyone see something wrong with that? So we have more expense permemnetly, cause you know you can't get rid of a govie, because of one conference out of how many that were over the top? How much is this new office going to cost for the rest of forever as compared to the $600,000 in excess? I am betting a whole bunch more especially if staffed with 15s and SESs.

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