Davis seeks GSA review

Accenture study

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) wants another review conducted before the General Services Administration streamlines contract and service offerings from the Federal Technology Service and Federal Supply Service.

GSA is currently working on a proposal to restructure the two agencies, based on a study conducted last spring by Accenture that found overlapping services between FTS and FSS in information technology-related sales and marketing and contract offerings.

The proposal is expected to recommend shifting management responsibilities between the two agencies, possibly eliminating some governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs).

But Davis has asked the General Accounting Office to review the plan, which is expected to be announced in mid-December, before GSA goes forward, said Melissa Wojciak, staff director of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee, which Davis chairs.

"The congressman doesn't believe that simply saying there are too many GWACs is the right answer," Wojciak said. "Mr. Davis would like a better understanding of where there are redundancies and how services-contract vehicles that each service offers-can be packaged to serve agencies."

She said that Davis is concerned that the reorganization would not touch FTS' telecommunications vehicle-one of its main contract offerings.

"GSA essentially has the right mix of products and services necessary to serve federal customers," Accenture said in a report in April. However, "there are opportunities to improve service to customers and to address inefficiencies that increase costs for industry partners," the report said.

"If there are efficiencies that are to be gained, I'm sure [GSA] Administrator [Stephen] Perry is going to be pursing them," said Bill Gormley, president and chief executive officer of the Washington Management Group Inc. and former assistant commissioner of GSA's Office of Acquisition.

The report recommended combining and realigning a number of areas, including market research, marketing, sales, contract development and maintenance.

But Wojciak said, "There is confusion about what should go to FTS and what should go to FSS, and if there are more efficient ways to serve their customer base."

"There's always going to be a good role for GWAC contracts to play in government," said Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group. "No one wants to see there be a single point of entry to the federal market-not contractors, not buyers."

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A study in efficiency

In an April report, Accenture recommended that the General Services Administration reduce overlapping services provided by the Federal Supply Service and Federal Technology Service.

The company's recommendations include:

* Combine information technology market research into one organization.

* Combine IT marketing into one organization.

* Combine and enhance the FSS and FTS customer account planning and management functions.

* Combine FSS and FTS IT sales forces.

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