GSA wants millions to build acquisition workforce

Martha Johnson puts in budget request for $24.9 million

The administrator of the General Services Administration today told a House appropriations subcommittee that her agency needs $675 million for fiscal 2011, an $80 million increase from last year, to carry out the Obama administration's governmentwide programs.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson requested $24.9 million for the Federal Acquisition Workforce Initiatives Fund, a new appropriation, she told the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. The new fund seeks to improve federal contracting by spending on the civilian acquisition workforce.

The fund would go for efforts to fill gaps in developing the acquisition workforce and would support the increases in the workforce other agencies requested in the president’s fiscal 2011 budget proposal, Johnson testified.


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GSA also asked for an increase of $25.5 million to the governmentwide policy appropriation. GSA plans to modernize the Integrated Acquisition Environment and other governmentwide information systems. Johnson said that work would improve acquisition processes and reduce operating costs by moving acquisition systems to a common platform.

In addition, GSA's request for the Federal Buildings Fund would increase total budget authority by $25 million, Johnson said.

The largest increase from last year though is for the Office of Governmentwide Policy’s operations, including its Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, Johnson said.

The $25 million increase would be primarily made up of the $21 million increase for modernization and upgrades to governmentwide information systems to improve reliability and transparency. Johnson said GSA plans to use the money to increase how much the systems can handle, improve data quality, and decrease operating costs in the future for multiple federal systems.

GSA has proposed $321 million for the traditional operating costs for its Office of Governmentwide Policy, its many governmentwide programs, its Office of Inspector General, the Electronic Government Fund, the pensions and office staffs of former presidents, and the Federal Citizen Services Fund, Johnson said.

Overall, GSA’s budget includes a total of $675 million in net budget authority, 2.8 percent of the agency’s total planned obligations of $24 billion, Johnson said.

The majority of GSA's funding is provided through reimbursements from federal customer agencies, for purchases of goods and services or as rent paid to the government’s landlord.

“Your approval of GSA’s budget request for fiscal 2011 is a critical step toward helping GSA to achieve our mutual goals of economic recovery, sustainability and open government,” Johnson testified.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Mon, May 3, 2010

Government I.T. contracts go to the lowest bidder...then congress is surprised when they end up with the I.T. industries highest failure rate? Government is always surprised that it's practices INSURE the highest overall cost for the worst systems. It has been this way since there was a U.S. government... so lets make it BIGGER !!

Sun, May 2, 2010 DR

GSA's Group 70 IT Schedule office absolutely needs to expand its staff of Contracting Officers and Contract Specialists. There is no doubt about that at all. Government buyers are not getting the latest products or the latest pricing due to the fact that there are simply too few COs to process all the proposed contract modifications. I don't know if they need any more anamysts or project managers, but more COs in the Schedule program? Absolutely.

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 M Reston

In this age of crushing debt, it ought to be considered treasonous to boast about bloating your federal staff.

Thu, Apr 29, 2010

More proof that government inefficiency knows no limits. "Give me more and we'll be more efficient." Yeah, right.

Thu, Apr 29, 2010

GSA has a history of mismanaging their IT dollars - unsuccessful attempts at implementing an ERP, cancelling a successful CRM program just shy of roll-out, and then moving those funds to stove-pipe, site specific applications - eliminating any Agency wide visibility of their ineffectiveness. Every conference (to include those sponsored by FCW) has an abundance of GSA attendees...Ms. Johnson should look at cutting the GSA travel budget before asking for more taxpayer dollars...whether direct appropriation or from her "customer" agencies.

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