Rep. floats GSA reform proposal

The General Services Administration should be partially privatized, and the compensation of the agency's top officials should be based on performance, under a proposal described today by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).

The concept is to make GSA into a "quasi-public entity" free of constraints, with its own board of directors and rules, Davis said in a keynote speech at the GovTechNet trade show in Washington, D.C.

"The new entity would have a performance-based compensation approach, which I think is absolutely critical, including bonuses, to attract and retain top-quality professionals at all levels," Davis said. "It would also have the flexibility necessary to develop innovative programs—something we feel is limited under the current environment."

GSA, along with the Federal Supply Service and the Federal Technology Service, could reduce overhead, create a results-oriented buying force, help agencies with their core functions and encourage partnerships among buyers and contractors.

"This is going on in the private marketplace. There's no reason the government can't step up to it," Davis said.

The General Accounting Office is expected to release a report soon on the concept, Davis said.

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