New Federal Acquisition Service debuts

New service, which combines federal technology and supply services, could be a "very big player."

The new Federal Acquisition Service - the successor to the Federal Technology Service and Federal Supply Service, which have been combined - is up and running and General Service Administration officials expect it to be a lot more efficient and controlled than the old services, The Washington Post's Stephen Barr notes.

At a news conference Friday, James A. Williams, the new FAS commissioner, said GSA's top priority for the new service is to improve service to federal agencies.

That effort will include a review of regional offices to see whether they should be organized by geography, by function or by a combination of the two, he said. For the long term, the FAS will move to create a strategic plan that fits into the GSA's priorities and gives agencies "a total view of the GSA" that helps them track where their money is going for purchases of technology and other products, Williams said.

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), a key Congressional proponent of the change, said: "These actions constitute the first major GSA reform in more than 20 years and will transform federal purchasing by bringing GSA in line with the commercial market it must capture for its federal agency customers.

Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said the FAS could become "a very large force in government acquisition" and "in essence, become a portal for a wide range of commercial item acquisitions." FAS will feature four business operations:

  • the office of general supplies and services, led by Joseph H. Jeu
  • the office of travel, motor vehicle and card services, led by Barnaby L. Brasseux
  • the office of integrated technology services, led by John C. Johnson
  • and the office of assisted acquisition services, led by Mary A. Davie.

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