GSA officially establishes Federal Acquisition Service

General Services Administration officials' goal from the beginning was to establish the Federal Acquisition Service before the end of the fiscal year. GSA Administrator Stephen Perry made that happen last Friday in a written order, officially combining the Federal Technology and Federal Supply services.

While the new organization is far from complete'with congressional and personnel changes at the top of the to-do list'Perry's order sets the wheels in official motion to begin the merger. FTS and FSS, however, still remain in place until the transfer can be completed effectively, Perry said.

'They would not have issued this unless any remaining congressional hurdles would not be overcome,' said Larry Allen, executive director of the Coalition for Government Procurement, a Washington trade association. 'This is Perry's way of making something that has been long anticipated official.'

The new look of FAS has already started taking shape. Perry named Barbara Shelton as acting FAS commissioner; Deidre Lee to lead Integrated Technology Solutions, which includes telecommunications contracts, governmentwide acquisition contracts, professional-services schedules, IT schedules, and program, planning and development; and Jon Jordan to be the service's controller.

'Soon we will begin implementation by appointing other senior officials to FAS offices,' Shelton said in an e-mail note to GSA officials. 'Once that is completed, implementation plans will be developed by the FAS executive team.'

Allen said naming those key positions is important for FAS to function. He added that FTS CIO Casey Coleman seems to have the inside track to become FAS' CIO and FTS assistant commissioner for IT Solutions Bob Suda seems to be the likely choice to head the Office of Acquisition Management.

In Perry's order, he outlines the roles of each part of FAS, including the commissioner, the national and regional office structures, the CIO and each of the new national program manager areas, such as Integrated Technology Solutions.

Perry went forward with the decision to divide the nationwide offices into six zones, down from 11 regions for FAS. GSA received some pushback from the Hill on this setup because members said it lacked enough oversight.

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