House approves GSA reorganization bill

The House of Representatives has unanimously approved the General Services Administration Modernization Act, which will combine the Federal Supply Service and the Federal Technology Service into a single organization.

The new organization will be called the Federal Acquisition Service. The bill also would combine the Information Technology and Supply funds into the Acquisition Services Fund.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Tom Davis, (R-Va.), chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

'This legislation offers fundamental organizational change within GSA by removing the old structures that inhibit efficient federal purchases,' Davis said in a statement. 'We can help bring GSA in line with the current commercial market that has evolved from stand-alone hardware or services to solutions that are a mix of products, services and technology.'

Separate buying organizations had become a barrier to coordinated acquisitions, he added.

The legislation also would authorize the GSA administrator to appoint up to five 'regional executives' for the Federal Acquisition Service to facilitate closer oversight and more management control over acquisition-related activities in GSA's regions. Recently, the existing GSA regions were the subject of Inspector General reports that revealed evidence of acquisition mismanagement.

The House passed the bill by voice vote under the suspension calendar, said Drew Crockett, spokesman for the committee.

A Senate version of the bill has not been introduced yet.

Crockett said the House panel will reach out to Senate committees "in the near future" to try to get a companion bill in motion. Crockett would not comment on which Senate committee they would reach out to, but the obvious choices are the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Armed Services committees.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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