House panel okays GSA reorg

The stars are beginning to align for the General Services Administration. Just after President Bush nominated a permanent administrator, a key House subcommittee signed off yesterday on the agency's proposal to establish the Federal Acquisition Service, GSA said.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia and related agencies approved the merger of the Federal Technology and Federal Supply services into FAS, as required under GSA's fiscal 2006 appropriations bill that passed last year.

'Final congressional approval will put us squarely on the path to strengthen our agency's ability to compete in the changing marketplace,' said acting administrator David Bibb.

The Senate still must sign off before it is final, but a GSA spokesman said they expect Senate approval 'any day now.'

A call to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia, and related agencies, chaired by Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), was not immediately returned.

Although considered an important milestone for GSA's reorganization, the approvals do not address the corresponding merger of GSA's General Supply Fund and Information Technology Fund into the Acquisition Services Fund.

The House last year approved legislation creating OneFund, but the bill has been stuck in the Senate because of concerns on how the reorganization would impact personnel at GSA regional offices around the country.

While those concerns were resolved earlier this year, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has not scheduled a mark-up of the legislation.

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