Shelton acts as FAS commissioner

Barbara Shelton, acting commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, has been named acting commissioner of the new Federal Acquisition Service. GSA officials are eliminating FTS and the Federal Supply Service and replacing them with the new FAS as part of an ongoing agency reorganization.

FTS Commissioner Sandra Bates retired in February and FSS Commissioner Donna Bennett has announced her plans to retire in July. Shelton, former regional administrator of GSA's Mid-Atlantic Region, based in Philadelphia, was named acting FTS Commissioner to replace Bates. GSA Administrator Stephen Perry announced Shelton's latest appointment today.

GSA released the draft organizational design of the FAS on June 2. Shelton will be responsible for leading the remaining work to complete the organizational plan, factoring in comments from industry and government, and for establishing the new organization.

In a written statement, Perry said the agency is in a critical period for ensuring the continued development of the reorganization plan.

"Barbara has been a key leader of the team that has worked to develop the draft plan for the very challenging task of consolidating FTS and FSS into FAS," he added. "Through her leadership and expertise, she has contributed significantly to the effort to develop an FAS organization."

Perry did not comment on whether Shelton's appointment will become a permanent assignment once the transition is complete.

One senior Congressional staff member said that Shelton's appointment is a mistake.

"It's disappointing that GSA has chosen to appoint someone to head its new Federal Acquisition Service who has virtually no federal acquisition experience and no standing whatsoever in the federal acquisition community," the staff member said. "Even more troubling is that Shelton comes from GSA's troubled regional management structure. Don't they realize that it was the pervasive acquisition mismanagement by GSA's regions that motivated House passage of the GSA Modernization Act, which authorized the new Federal Acquisition Service? Ironic indeed."

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) sponsored the Modernization Act after GSA's own internal investigations revealed widespread violations of contracting rules in many of the agency's regional offices over the past several years.

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