“The General Services Administration requested $24.9 million for the acquisition workforce in fiscal 2011. But they are not waiting for Congress to approve the funding to get started on improvement.
“GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Defense Acquisition University to create training courses using social networking tools.
“Houston Taylor, the FAS acting assistant commissioner, says the way the current courses are set up don’t do a good job reaching out to customer agencies and don’t use up-to-date technology.
“FAS also recently signed another MOA with GSA’s Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization to standardize and improve training around getting small firms on the schedule and helping them market to the rest of government.
“Houston says the organization is focusing on its customers more intently than ever before. He says it’s about relationships, communication and collaboration. GSA wants to make it easier for vendors to work with GSA. Houston says FAS recently finished test to digitize vendor documents in a way they are useful to all parties.
“Ed O’Hare, the assistant commissioner for Integrated Technology Services at FAS, says the goal is to go paperless by May 2011.
“Right now, O’Hare says about 40 percent of all vendor schedule offers and modifications are done electronically.
“O’Hare also says gently moved away from getting schedule modifications and awards done quickly to getting them reliably, consistently and accurately.
“But O’Hare is quick to say he still has expectations for these actions to take as little time as possible. Currently, he says modifications take about 15 days and FAS’s goal is 12 days.
I played highlights of Ed O’Hare’s presentation at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference last week in Arlington. You can hear the entire presentation by clicking on the audio link.