GSA presents streamlining plans

Accenture study

The General Services Administration announced plans today to streamline contract and service offerings from the Federal Technology and Federal Supply services.

GSA will continue to use governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) and multiple award schedules, but the development and maintenance of GWACs will transfer from FTS to FSS. The move goes into effect Jan. 12, 2003.

The plan "creates a process for addressing duplication in contracts," FSS Commissioner Donna Bennett said. "It will allow GSA to expand its presence in the marketplace."

A board will be established next month to assess the value and effectiveness of GSA's information technology contracting vehicles. Right now, none has been eliminated, Bennett said.

GSA based the restructuring on a study Accenture conducted last spring that found overlap between the agencies in IT-related sales and marketing and contract offerings.

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

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) wanted another review before GSA moved forward, but said in a statement today that he was heartened by the realignment and called it an important first step.

As chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee, Davis said he "became concerned about the overlapping and possible redundant nature of the current structure of these services which buy goods and services valued at over $30 billion yearly from the private sector and resell them to the government."

"This was a particular worry in the rapidly growing [IT] and telecommunications segments," Davis said. "I will continue to follow closely the progress of GSA's quest to resolve its structural and management challenges."

Other changes include giving primary responsibility for market research and marketing to FSS. Responsibility for customer account planning and sales goes to FTS.

"There's always a transition and there will be some cultural changes," FTS' Deputy Commissioner Charles Self said. "For the most part, the associates who are affected will continue to do the same work, just reporting to different [offices].

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