GSA, OPM team up to tackle training

The goal is to deliver better-focused training packages with more cost-effective contracts.

The Office of Personnel Management is moving to jointly manage a major training and management contract with the General Services Administration.

CIOs and other federal managers can expect to get better-focused, cost-effective training packages for their employees under a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies unveiled April 28, according to GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.

OPM and GSA will jointly manage the solicitation and award of a new strategically sourced, multiple-award contract vehicle that will support OPM's Training and Management Assistance (TMA) program.

Tangherlini said the goal is to collapse the time it takes a CIO to identify a skills gap and get training for his or her employees to address the gap. Archuleta said better-focused training regimens will result from the agreement.

The partnership was formed in collaboration with the interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council. The new arrangement will support the largest governmentwide, strategically sourced solution for staffing and training services.

OPM will continue to offer training and management products but will capitalize on GSA's know-how in providing governmentwide cost savings and efficiencies.

OPM is charged with ensuring that staffing services and training products align with the federal Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework. While the new procurement is being finalized, OPM said it will continue to provide staffing and training solutions to agencies through its existing TMA contract. OPM and GSA plan to have the new contract in place in fiscal 2015.

OPM's announcement that it was teaming with GSA comes almost a year after OPM canceled what was intended to be the successor to TMA -- the Customized Human Resources Solutions Services plan. OPM officials said in February that they would not pursue that proposal.

Archuleta said OPM has been seeking ways to gain economies of scale and more accurately target resources in a time of tight budgets. "We decided to move forward in a new way," she said.

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