Martha Johnson Requests $24.9 Million for Federal Acquisition Workforce

2 mins read

GSA Headquarters
GSA Headquarters

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday to request $675 million for fiscal ’11, an $80 million increase from last year.  Administrator Johnson said that the funding increase was necessary to implement the Obama Administration’s priorities, including improvements to federal contracting via increases to the federal acquisition workforce.

Requested outlays in GSA’s fiscal ’11 budget include $24.9 million for the Federal Acquisition Workforce Initiatives Fund, a new program designed to improve federal contracting by increasing spending on the civilian acquisition workforce.

OMB recently announced its Acquisition and Contracting Improvement Plans and Pilots, which mandates that contractors not “be used as a substitute for the strong internal capacity required for an agency to provide sufficient management and oversight of its contractors.”   In response, seven agencies (including GSA) are currently implementing pilot programs designed to decrease reliance on contractors for acquisitions.

GSA also requested an extra $25.5 million for governmentwide policy appropriation, its largest requested increase. Administrator Johnson wants to use the funds to modernize the Integrated Acquisition Environment and other governmentwide purchasing vehicles in order to streamline federal acquisition processes and reduce operating costs, as well as for “greening” buildings throughout the federal government.

These extra funds are also in line with a major OMB priority, articulated by OFPP Administrator Dan Gordon.  Gordon seeks to reform multiple-award contracts and blanket purchase agreements (BPAs), wondering at an industry breakfast in March if there are too many contracts for the same goods and services across the federal government.

He said, “One of the first things I did as administrator in terms of written guidance to the agencies was send out a memorandum if you have blanket purchase agreement for goods under the Federal Supply Schedule check to see your discounts,” Federal News Radio reports. “If you are not getting any discounts beyond the FSS, you may want to consult with counsel and see if you can renegotiate forthwith to get a discount.”

Johnson will be speaking at the Potomac Officers Club event on June 2, 2010. Click here to register

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