Three HR LOB vendors for agencies to choose from

Three companies today were approved by the General Services Administration to provide human resource services under the HR Line of Business effort.

In a memo to agency employees, Jim Williams, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, said Accenture, Allied Technology Group and Carahsoft Technology earned places on the HR schedule, 738. X, under a five-year base contract with three five-year options.

Agencies now have three private-sector vendors to choose from along with five agency providers the Office of Management and Budget approved in the fiscal 2006 budget request: the Treasury, Defense, and Health and Human Services departments; the Interior Department's National Business Center; and the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center.

"The awards mark the successful step to an extensive solicitation and ongoing evaluation process that began with preliminary discussions between GSA and the Office of Personnel Management in late 2006," Williams said in his e-mail message announcing the awards.

GSA issued the request for proposals in May and delayed the award at least once because of the large number of questions the agency received from vendors. Under the RFP, vendors were asked to provide information-processing technology for personnel-action processing and benefits management, at a minimum. Such services include HR planning, recruitment, pre-employment screening, training and employee relations.

For the HR LOB, vendors were asked to provide core services in three areas: personnel action processing, compensation management and benefits management. Contractors could also provide nine noncore services.

GSA also issued a request for information in July for additional HR services, including a standard approach to entrance-on-duty functions, such as HR services for new employees or current feds who transfer from one agency to another.

It is unclear whether the three winners will provide those services, too.

There has been a slow migration to HR providers under the initiative. OMB officials say agencies should make the move when their current HR systems need to be upgraded.

The Labor and Homeland Security departments are among the first agencies planning to move to a shared-services provider.

In the solicitation, GSA estimated that agencies spent $97 million on HR general support services and $14 million on equal employment opportunity services in fiscal 2005.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News and Federal Computer Week, 1105 Government Information Group publications.

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