GSA plans $2.5 billion payroll acquisition

NOTE: This article first appeared on

The General Services Administration is giving vendors a heads-up on its promised payroll shared service offering, which will have a $2.5 billion ceiling value over a decade. GSA pays over 2.2 million federal employees every two weeks, making it one of the largest payrolls in the country. The agency's Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement (OSSPI) and its Office of Government-wide Policy issued the pre-solicitation notice on May 17.

OSSPI was launched in January as an umbrella unit covering shared services.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy has said the software-as-service payroll service is the agency's next step for shared services, which are a key part of the White House's management agenda.

"For GSA, it's not just can we put together another contract vehicle, it's how can we go out and help agencies," she said at a May 14 industry event.

She emphasized that her agency should also look to help agencies transition to shared services instead of having a jarring period of change. Murphy also said the payroll solicitation would look at ways to smooth existing contract close-outs for agencies that might use the service.

The GSA said in its statement that the shift of payroll to SaaS solution will free agencies to focus on core missions priorities and deploy more modern and secure management and payroll solutions.

Potential bidders must respond by June 1.

The acquisition will be conducted using a phased evaluation approach, GSA said. The responses to the pre solicitation will be used to select "viable competitors."

According to the notice, vendors that GSA determines are not viable providers will get letters explaining why they weren't included in the pool of potential bidders. Those that GSA deems eligible to bid will receive the formal solicitation in June.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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