GSA forms reorg team

General Services Administration officials are forming a steering team to oversee efforts to reorganize the agency.

Reorganization has become a priority for Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. GSA officials are not waiting for Congress to move, however.

According to a memo that GSA Administrator Stephen Perry wrote today, the committee will include:

Perry

Barbara Shelton, acting commissioner of the Federal Technology Service

Donna Bennett, commissioner of the Federal Supply Service

F. Joseph Moravec, commissioner of the public buildings service

Donald Williams, regional administrator of the National Capital region

Peter Stamison, regional administrator of the Pacific Rim region

Kathleen Turco, chief financial officer

Martin Wagner, associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy

Michael Carleton, chief information officer

Susan Marshall, senior policy advisor and associate administrator of the Office of Performance Improvement

The committee will primarily evaluate ideas to reorganize FTS and FSS, according to Perry's memo.

"The objective is to strengthen the capability of GSA's business lines to meet increasing customer requirements for excellent acquisition services, make it easier for industry contractors to interface with our acquisition processes, and enhance the efficiency of GSA's administrative support functions by reorganizing and combining certain activities that are now performed in separate units," Perry wrote.

The next step is to create task force teams under the steering committee to review possible opportunities to combine functions. Among the areas to be studied:

Combining the General Supply Fund and the Information Technology Fund.

Merging some parts of GSA's financial management process.

Combining aspects of the agency's IT processes.

Combining the acquisition services that both FTS and FSS offer for customers acquiring telecommunications and IT solutions, products and services, among other overlapping areas.

Perry expects the steering group and the task force teams to develop a complete reorganization plan by July 2005.

David Bibb, GSA deputy administrator, addressed the issue today at a luncheon meeting hosted by the Industry Advisory Council.

Some FTS employees misused the IT fund to help customers procure non-technology products and services, Bibb said, one of several kinds of abuse uncovered in a recent series of inspector general probes.

"A lot of our problems stem from people just not knowing what funding pot to use," he said. Combining the IT and general funds could potentially eliminate any confusion, he said.

Internally, the agency has four chief information officers, he said, one for each of the three branches and one for the agency as a whole. Such redundancy may not be an efficient way to run the organization, he said.

Rather than look at the agency's structure in a vacuum, Bibb said the task forces and the steering team will work to understand the business needs that the structure should serve, and let organizational changes flow naturally from that understanding.

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