GSA cuts back assisted acquisition service

The General Services Administration decided to cut back its assisted acquisition service to build a more economically viable business line that will break even by the end of fiscal 2008, the agency announced today.

The strategy will affect half of the assisted acquisition service's employees, however they will not lose their jobs, according to GSA. Officials said they are realigning resources in assisted services by moving about half the workforce to other positions within the Federal Acquisition Service or other parts of the agency where they are needed.

FAS is increasing the types of services it will offer, while expanding into new areas in professional services. It already provides expert technical, acquisition and project management support services on a fee-for-service basis. Officials plan to start pre-award and post-award acquisition services for agencies that are conducting internal acquisitions. They also plan to offer acquisition assistance to agencies using GSA’s new contracts, such as Networx and Alliant.

“Assisted services is a work in progress, a strong business line whose services are very much in demand,” GSA Administrator Lurita Doan said. “However, we needed a plan to align [assisted acquisition service] costs with actual and projected revenue.”

The recovery plan will affect about 250 employees. But FAS Commissioner Jim Williams said reductions-in-force are not part of the plan, and the service is not planning to submit any early-out or buyout request packages to the Office of Personnel Management at this time.

“We are confident that [assisted acquisition service] and FAS will be able to match these employees with new positions within the GSA family,” Williams said.

FAS is working with unions and affected employees to ensure a smooth transition to the new makeup, he said.

GSA announced its robust cost-recovery plan for the assisted acquisition service, which lost about $50 million in fiscal 2007. The service has already implemented a 10-percent reduction in costs against the fiscal 2007 plan.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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