Consultant recommends combining some GSA services

Consultant recommends combining some GSA services

The General Services Administration isn't broken, but it could improve delivery of products and services through its Federal Supply and Federal Technology services, a consultant has found.

GSA hired Accenture LLP of New York in January to do a three-month study of overlapping contract offerings from FTS and FSS. The company recommended some consolidation and realignment of the services' operations, but did not suggest that the two should be merged.

'The GSA model basically works,' the report, released today, concluded. 'GSA essentially has the right mix of products and services.'

FTS acts as a full-service shop that managing contracts and reselling services to government customers, and FSS provides direct access to vendor contracts through its supply schedule. The General Accounting Office has found that more than 300 vendors have contracts with both FTS and FSS, and eight of the 10 largest IT suppliers have overlapping contracts. Some vendors have complained that the multiple contract vehicles increase their costs without increasing revenues.

Accenture recommended that GSA:

  • Combine or coordinate market research, marketing, customer account planning and management, sales, service delivery and contract development and maintenance functions in the two services.

  • Rationalize IT contracts, using strict new contract development criteria to avoid unnecessary overlap.

  • Ensure that internal sales incentives are aligned with customer needs.

  • Expand FTS' technical and procurement assistance into non-IT product lines.

  • GSA has not responded to the final report, but administrator Stephen Perry told a House panel last month that implementing the recommendations would be a high priority for him.

    About the Author

    William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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