Federal Asset Sales on the way

The e-gov initiative is looking for a 'service aggregator' to handle sales of federal assets

Federal Asset Sales initiative

Agencies looking to dispose of excess personal property — ranging from information technology hardware and software to helicopters and buses — will have a new, more profitable solution on the way by October, officials said June 19.

The Federal Asset Sales initiative, one of the 24 cross-agency e-government initiatives, plans to release its draft solicitation on July 1, a final solicitation on July 21, and award a contract to a single vendor team by Sept. 30, said Kyle Turner, the contracting officer at the General Services Administration, which is leading the FAS initiative.

He was speaking at the industry day forum held by the FAS program management office in Crystal City, Va.

The federal government disposes of about $16 billion in personal property assets annually. A small percentage of that is sold online, but sales are handled through more than 160 Web sites. IT assets, which include everything from desktops to supercomputers, made up more than 17 percent of the total assets sold in fiscal 2002.

Officials don't expect all of this material to go through the Federal Asset Sales solution, but what does likely will bring in a much larger amount of money than the average of 2 cents on the dollar that one agency is getting, said Corey Runnels, a consultant with the FAS program management office.

The vendor will not be expected to develop a single sales portal. Instead, the initiative is looking for what officials are calling a "service aggregator," a lead contractor with a diverse team that can advise agencies on the most profitable way to dispose of all the various types of assets, can take responsibility for refurbishing or otherwise making the asset more valuable for sale, and can handle all the post-sales support functions, such as logistics and payment collection.

"For the service aggregator to succeed, you have to provide something better than currently exists," Runnels said.

GSA is working with 18 civilian and Defense agencies, including the Commerce, Justice and Treasury departments, to incorporate their requirements and opinions into the solicitation. Ten of those agencies are developing memoranda of understanding to use the FAS solution when it is complete.

But the key is making this something that agencies want to use, something that will bring them more value than simply disposing of property as easily — which often means as cheaply — as possible, said Mitra Nejad, program manager for the initiative.

"The majority of agencies really don't want to be in the asset management business," said George Delprete, another consultant with the program management office.

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