Big Changes at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service

Blog
June 19, 2017

UPDATE: In light of the major changes at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Federal News Radio is reporting that two of the agency’s top leaders have tendered their resignation. The first is FAS Commissioner, Thomas Sharpe, which isn’t surprising considering his replacement had already been named. Somewhat more surprising is that Kevin Youel Page, Sharpe’s Deputy, also resigned on June 12, 2017. As recently as the Friday prior, sources at GSA indicated that Youel Page would stay on. Sharpe announced he is retiring from federal service, but Youel Page’s future plans are less clear. Both men’s last day at the agency will be June 23, 2017.

Sharpe and Youel Page have been key figures at GSA over the last several years, spearheading innovative and sometimes controversial initiatives such as category management, the Making it Easier campaign, and the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot. The fate of some of these programs, especially TDR, already seemed up in the air since the recent change in administrations. The loss of two of the pilot’s biggest proponents doesn’t portend well for its future. In addition, Judith Zawatsky, who was also heavily invested in promoting TDR, has been promoted from Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Transformation Program Manager to the FAS Chief of Staff.

While this type of tumult isn’t uncommon in the beginning of a new administration, GSA Schedule contractors have a lot on the line here. Aronson will be following the new Commissioner, Alan Thomas, closely to see whether he signals a significant departure from FAS’s current path. Stay tuned for more information.


ORIGINAL POST: The General Services Administration (GSA) announced two significant changes to its Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) yesterday as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts “to be more agile and cost effective, and provide better service across government.” First, GSA introduced Alan B. Thomas, Jr. as the new Commissioner of FAS, replacing Thomas Sharpe. Mr. Thomas will be taking over as Commissioner in the next few weeks. Kevin Youel Page retains his position as a Deputy Commissioner.

Mr. Thomas has a diverse background, which includes both federal and industry positions. Interestingly, Mr. Thomas has spent most of his career in Defense acquisition roles. Most notably, he has worked as a management analyst for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L), and has also held leadership positions for several small defense contractors.

The second major change involves GSA’s nascent Technology Transformation Service (TTS), which will be folded into the FAS. GSA remarks “by placing all of the offices focused on government modernization into one organization, GSA will be better able to leverage its expertise and assets in support of the White House and its Office of American Innovation.” Rob Cook, the current Commissioner of TTS, will remain on board but with the new title of FAS Deputy Commissioner and Director, Technology Transformation Services.

It is especially notable to see GSA making such major changes in light of the fact that the agency still doesn’t have a nominee for Administrator. Clearly, the acting Administrator, Timothy Horne, is serious about making sure GSA is moving in step with the Trump administration’s goals to “modernize the federal government.” More big changes are sure to come.

Stay tuned to Aronson FedPoint for all the latest. For questions, please contact Jennifer Aubel at Jaubel@aronsonllc.com.