FAS’ Thomas resigns

GSA's Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas delivers the keynote address at the Northeast and Caribbean Region's Industry Day June 27, 2018,  in New York. Photograph by Robert Andersen 

The head of the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service has resigned his position after a little over two years to take a position in the private sector, according to documents obtained by FCW.

FAS Commissioner Alan Thomas resigned on Oct. 2 and GSA Senior Advisor Julie Dunne will serve as acting FAS commissioner beginning Oct. 15, according to internal emails from Thomas and GSA Administrator Emily Murphy obtained by FCW.

Thomas, who became FAS commissioner in 2017, has been a catalyst for several of the agency's higher profile modernization processes and technical improvements, such as a contract writing system, schedules consolidation and e-commerce portal efforts. He has also been part of broader federal government IT modernization efforts, sitting on the board of the Technology Modernization Fund where he helped direct funding to agencies' projects.

The heavy lifting on many of those projects is nearing completion. GSA issued a solicitation for the schedules consolidation, for instance, completing one of the most complicated portions of the project. The agency also is well down the road toward the complex electronic commerce-like portal for federal buyers, a duty assigned to GSA by Congress.

With that work moving ahead, industry sources said Thomas wants to move back to the private sector.

"Together, we did big things," said Thomas in his departure email. "We hit important milestones in our efforts to modernize and simplify the federal buying and selling experience under the Federal Marketplace Strategy," he said. "We released a single solicitation for the Schedules program and will issue an RFP for commercial e-commerce portal" in the first quarter of 2020, he said.

He said the agency is also on track to issue a request for proposals for a contract writing in the first quarter of 2020.

"After more than two years of dedicated service leading the Federal Acquisition Service, Commissioner Alan Thomas is departing GSA to pursue a new opportunity in the private sector," said Murphy’s email. "I am very grateful to Alan for his commitment to our mission and the accomplishments achieved by the FAS team during his time here."

Thomas' work on e-commerce portals, schedule consolidation and federal marketplace strategies set the stage for dramatic changes at GSA, according to Murphy.

"These initiatives have provided a solid foundation for significant, positive change in the federal procurement space, and are just a few of the successes achieved during the past two years," said Murphy.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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