GSA MOVES TO CENTRALIZE ITS. WILL IT BE SUCCESSFUL?
GSA officials are actively working to reorganize the Integrated Technology Service, the organization inside the Federal Acquisition Service that manages all IT contracts, including Alliant and the IT 70, as well as telecomm contracts like NextGen and NS2020. The reorganization is intended to bring greater centralization to the varied ITS operations with the goal of ensuring better operational continuity and service to the customer. Telecommunications contracts are among the first to be transitioned, but the centralization plan may also have implications for other programs such as Alliant and OASIS. Line level ITS officials currently discuss this topic frequently with their industry partners and it is clear that the proposed centralization is at least somewhat of a distraction. The move is thought to be driven by FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe who wants to better marshal all of FAS’ portfolios to reduce redundancy, standardize solutions, and have more effective oversight of contract pricing. The most recent centralization foray, however, is certainly not the first attempt of its kind in GSA. Long-time contractors may remember the “Summit” previous Federal Technology Service head Sandy Bates called in the late 1990’s. Intended to better centralize and streamline operations, the summit, and its related follow-ons, ended up having a minimal impact on regional operations. It is too early to tell how effective this latest attempt may be, but contractors may find their ITS partners with extra work on their plates related to the re-org. Stay tuned.