GSA takes budget control from regions

The General Services Administration's chief financial officer will oversee the budget and finances of the Public Buildings Service, the GSA organization involved in a recent scandal over spending abuses at a GSA conference in 2010, and the Federal Acquisition Service. The regional offices no longer have budget authority under a new administrative order released April 15.

GSA officials have given the agency’s CFO authority over the PBS's regional financial and reporting functions, the regional revenue operations and regional financial operations, according to the order. GSA also created Office of Public Building Services Financial Services, within the agency’s CFO's Office. The new office will oversee and direct PBS revenue. The head of the office will report directly to the CFO.

Within in this new office, the order establishes the PBS Financial and Reporting Division. It also establishes the PBS Revenue Division.

The order creates the PBS Financial Operations Division under the CFO’s Office of Policy and Operations. Its director will report to the CFO’s Office of Financial Policy and Operations.

The order also makes changes inside PBS’s current organizational structure.

PBS’s overarching Office of Budget and Financial Management has three divisions: the Financial Budgeting and Reporting Division, the Revenue Division, and the Financial Operations Division.

Under the new structure, the Financial Budgeting and Reporting Division now is under the new established CFO Office of PBS Financial Services’s Financial and Reporting Division.

The Revenue Division is under the CFO’s new Office of PBS Financial Services’ Revenue Division.

Finally, the Financial Operations Division is under the Office of Financial Policy and Operations's PBS Financial Operations Division.

It also creates the Office of Federal Acquisition Service Financial Services. The office will oversee FAS’s revenue, financial and reporting functions. The office’s director too will report directly to the CFO. The order gives GSA one year to set up that office. FAS’s budget and financial management function have been transferred to the CFO too.

Officials want “to improve leadership roles, accountability, and increase organizational effectiveness and efficiencies,” according to the new order.

In April, GSA has faced major scrutiny related to an $822,000 conference in 2010 hosted by several regions based in the western part of the country. Martha Johnson, GSA’s former administrator, resigned her position as the GSA inspector general released a scathing report. Several regional commissioners are on leave. Johnson fired several officials before she submitted her resignation.

The agency has undergone three congressional hearings in three days, and officials could face more hearings in the future.

About the Author

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

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