House approves GSA reorganization

A House Appropriations Committee subcommittee has approved the General Services Administration's reorganization plan, leaving one remaining hurdle to the agency's plan to merge two of its three main divisions.

Approval came from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia and Independent Agencies, of which Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R-Mich.) is the chairman. A similar Senate subcommittee must still approve the plan, according to a GSA spokesman.

GSA plans to merge the Federal Supply Service and Federal Technology Service into one organization, to will be called the Federal Acquisition Service. The agency has already appointed acting leaders to many positions in the proposed organization.

The subcommittee approvals are mandated in the Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, House and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006. Subcommittee members are not required to vote on the reorganization plan, but they must see and approve the plan, according to provisions of the legislation.

GSA also wants to merge the General Supply Fund and Information Technology Fund into a single fund. That step would require separate legislation, which lawmakers are considering, the GSA spokesman said.

“We are very pleased that the House has granted us the approval to move ahead, and we have received encouraging signs from the Senate,” said Acting GSA Administrator David Bibb, in a prepared statement. “Final congressional approval will put us squarely on the path to strengthen our agency’s ability to compete in the changing marketplace.”

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