GSA reshapes office for efficient operations

General Services Administration officials are creating an Office of Infrastructure Optimization to handle several technology programs, a GSA official said June 4.

The new office, which would be in the Office of Integrated Technology Services, will combine several governmentwide initiatives and various enterprisewide operations, such as handling data-at-rest and antivirus software offerings through the SmartBuy program. Officials are also creating an Identity Management Division by combining GSA’s Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 program management office and e-authentication division, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner for ITS at GSA's Federal Acquisition Service.

Johnson said he expects to have the infrastructure optimization office in place by August, and he has picked Fred Schobert, chief technology officer at ITS, to lead it.

The reorganization is an attempt to find synergies between various initiatives and operations, such as e-authentication and HSPD-12, which requires federal employees and certain contractors to have identification cards, and to provide comprehensive solutions for its customers, Johnson said in a speech about GSA’s efforts to be more efficient.

Reshaping the office will allow GSA to offer “green” products to agencies, he said at Input’s State and Local Marketview conference, adding, “We do have an opportunity to really shape” the government’s green initiatives by reviewing how GSA supplies its customers with products and services.

The fee-for-service agency has always looked for ways to be more efficient and is offering products and services geared toward saving energy, such as fleets of fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-saving information technology products, Johnson said. With minimal appropriations from Congress, GSA has to adapt to the market and offer attractive products. With its eye on the market, he said, GSA is looking for “green” IT.

“To continue to attract customers, we have to be forward-thinking in making sure that what we offer is what they need,” Johnson said.

About the Author

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

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