According to the General Accounting Office, the General

Services Administration needs to take a more active role in

helping agencies procure IT products and services, by

developing the capability to provide agencies with the

information and analysis they need to make their procurement

spending more effective.

In recent testimony before the House’s Committee on

Government Reform, GAO said that the process by which

agencies establish requirements for the Federal Supply

Service and its products and services is decentralized

and uncoordinated, and that agencies lack knowledge of

the extent to which purchases overlap and buying power is

diluted, because they typically handle it exclusively

through expensive FSS and Federal Technology Service

contracts.

Agencies can save money, according to GAO, by using a more

strategic approach to FSS and FTS procurement and

leveraging buying power for volume discounts, as was the

case with the Air Force, which saved an estimated $3

million by buying 13,000 computers in bulk for different

units that had purchased them separately in the past,

said GAO.

In response to earlier recommendations by a GAO management

consultant that GSA reduce the overlap between still growing

FSS and FTS IT sales, marketing functions and contract

offerings, GSA separated their functions, giving market

research and marketing of all GSA products and services,

including IT, to FSS, and primary responsibility for sales

and customer account planning and management to FTS; GSA

transferred FTS contract development and maintenance

responsibilities to FSS; it decided to not renew some

contracts after establishing a contract review board, and

GSA created a new FTS Office of Professional Services to

offer assisted procurement services beyond IT and

telecommunications. Get Report