FSS surplus jump-starts three GSA e-gov projects

The General Services Administration has found a way to finance three of its five e-government projects without dipping into its discretionary funds.

GSA has allocated $25 million in surplus revenue from the Federal Supply Service to jump-start its E-Travel, Federal Asset Sales and the Integrated Acquisition Environment projects. And the funds likely will have a trickle-down effect for GSA’s partners on the projects, said Lew Sanford, the agency’s e-government program manager.

GSA’s windfall comes at a time when many agencies are struggling to find a way to pay for the 24 projects designated as highlighted initiatives by the Office of Management and Budget.

“I think many managing partners are looking for ways to fund their projects,” Sanford said. “This puts us in a good position on these three projects for this fiscal year.”

Two goals

The Integrated Acquisition Environment project will receive the majority of the funds—about $16 million—to help it meet two goals by Sept. 30. The project will result in a single point of entry for vendors and an online directory of all govern-mentwide acquisition and multiple-award contracts offered by agencies.

E-Travel and Federal Asset Sales will get $2.3 million and $1.5 million, respectively, to accomplish their 2002 milestones.

E-Travel must complete two goals by Dec. 31: a governmentwide initial capabilities Web assessment and the rollout of a customer care system.

Federal Asset Sales’ milestones are to rehost its Web site and develop a business integration pilot.

“We are going through—like most of the newer e-government projects—an inventory of the major components,” Sanford said. “This funding will help us do that and meet our milestones.”

GSA also will keep between $4 million and $6 million in reserve for future e-government needs.

Sanford said agency partners also could receive some funding as needs arise.

“If the Defense Department, for instance, needs to do some work on its Central Contractor Registration system, which we may use as a component of the Integrated Acquisition Environment, we could assign funds to pay for that work,” Sanford said.

GSA is the only agency funding its e-government projects through surplus revenues. The Commerce Department, National Institutes of Health and Transportation Department also run GWACs, but none have GSA’s ability to redirect funds. Agencies pay for the administration of their GWACs by charging fees to customers.

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