Friday, May 25th, 2012 - 13:24
The Federal Acquisition Service takes a leadership
role in providing centralized
acquisition solutions while reducing
waste, increasing efficiency, lowering cost, and fostering
emerging sectors of the economy.
The goal of a sustainable, citizencentered, results-oriented government has compelled federal agencies to find better, smarter ways to do
business. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), through its Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), works to provide support and assistance to agencies as they work toward this goal. FAS takes a leadership role in providing centralized acquisition solutions while reducing waste, increasing efficiency, lowering cost, and fostering emerging sectors of the economy.
“It’s important to understand,” explains Steven Kempf, FAS commissioner, “that we’re a cost-reimbursable organization.” FAS earns its business by supporting federal agencies in meeting their missions. “We provide about $55 billion worth of cost-reimbursable work to other agencies,” notes Kempf, “everything from paper clips to hybrid vehicles to large complex IT solutions, and even the acquisition support that federal agencies need to procure essential goods and services.”
Delivering comprehensive products and services across government at the best value possible is no small feat. It requires a focused, strategic approach and a dedicated staff of expert professionals. “First and foremost, it’s about our people. In many ways,” Kempf acknowledges, “I’m a cheerleader for everything they do, helping them really set the vision for what we’re doing. It’s about being the leading source for government solutions and making sure that our people have what they need to be successful.” He does this with 4000 employees spread across the world serving four basic business lines: assisted acquisition services, information technology services, general supplies and services, and the travel, motor vehicle, and card services program.
Kempf believes that this portfolio structure enables FAS to provide best-value services, products, and solutions to its customers by aligning resources to key functions. “Amassing critical subject-matter expertise along with access to needed goods and services within our organization and leveraging that strength across the federal government enables agencies to get a better deal, take advantage of our expertise, and … use their resources to do the things that are critical to their own operations.”
For example, the FAS Office of Integrated Technology Services operates a suite of IT acquisition programs offering government customers the complete range of IT hardware, software, communications, and supporting products and services to meet virtually any IT need. The FAS suite of IT acquisition programs leverages that expertise across multiple acquisition vehicles (i.e., contracts) that flexibly enable
customers to purchase what they want as they want it. To illustrate, Kempf highlights four pathways connecting agencies to goods and services, such as the IT Multiple Award Schedule 70, which affords almost 5000 commercial firms the opportunity to offer IT products and services direct to customer agencies; the government-wide IT acquisition contracts (or GWACs) that provide a little more flexibility in acquiring technology and supporting services as a more complete solution for customers; and the Network Services portfolio of contracts, including Networx, that satisfy a complete range of local and wide area telecommunications services and support. “We sell everything on the schedules from very small things like office products to the intricate IT systems and complex professional services,” declares Kempf.
Read the entire interview.