Senate finally clears GSA reorg bill

The General Services Administration's long-standing reorganization effort to establish the Federal Acquisition Service finally won the Senate's blessing after lawmakers cleared legislation formally recognizing the new division.

The Senate approved the bill unanimously with minor amendments.

Now the bill moves to a conference committee so lawmakers can work out the differences between the Senate and House versions.

Observers said they do not expect a lengthy conference, and the bill could be finalized within the next several weeks.

'We are heartened by this very positive development. It is another step in the right direction as we move forward with our plans to reorganize in a way that improves our service to our federal customers and thus the American people,' said David Bethel, associate administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Communications

Although GSA has already merged the Federal Technology and Federal Supply services into FAS, the agency needs congressional approval to consolidate the General Supply and IT funds into the OneFund. The bill will also allow GSA to create regional zones to administer the Federal Acquisition Service.

While the House passed its bill more than a year ago, the Senate version had languished, since Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) placed a hold on the bill in May, preventing it from being voted on the Senate floor, after the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee cleared it out of committee.

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