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GSA adds an OPM veteran to help with the merger

The merger of the Office of Personnel Management’s HR Solutions shop into the General Services Administration got a big boost Monday. GSA announced David Vargas, OPM’s director of the HR Line of Business, is joining the agency to launch a new Service Management Office.

“In his new role at GSA, David will oversee the launch of our new Service Management Office, which is being established to support our vision of expanding our mission support service offerings to other federal agencies,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in an email to staff obtained by Federal News Radio.

Vargas joined GSA as the first director of the Service Management Office on July 23, a GSA spokeswoman confirmed.

David Vargas joined GSA as the first director of the Service Management Office on July 23,.

What’s unclear from Murphy’s email is how the SMO will work with the new Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement Office (SSPI), which GSA created in January.

SSPI may focus on policy and governance while the new SMO may focus on the operational aspects of shared services, which would make sense given the OPM/GSA merger of HR Solutions is basically a shared service.

HR Solutions is a fee-for-service entity within OPM that provides products and services to help agencies with their human resources needs, including USAJOBS.gov, USA Staffing and USA Hiring, among other projects.

It’s also unclear where the new office will live–in the Office of Governmentwide Policy with SSPI or in the Federal Acquisition Service? Mary Davie, the deputy commissioner of FAS, is leading the merger effort.

During his time at OPM, Vargas also served as the acting chief information officer, acting deputy CIO and director of HR IT transformation.

Murphy and OPM Director Jeff Pon offered a few more details about the merger plans during a July 25 hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Murphy and Pon told lawmakers they are making progress with the planning phase to move HR Solutions and they don’t believe they need Congressional approval.

Other GSA promotions announced

Along with Vargas, GSA promoted Beth Angerman and Dan Pomeroy to new positions.

Angerman gets to remove the acting title of her current job. She is the new permanent principal deputy associate administrator of OGP. She has been acting for since February.

Angerman has been with GSA since 2013 and served as the executive director of the old Unified Shared Services Management office before becoming acting principal deputy administrator.

Pomeroy steps into the deputy associate administrator for Information Integrity and Access in OGP. He replaces Dominic Sale, who left in February to join the Technology Transformation Service as the assistant commissioner for operations.

Pomeroy has been with GSA for 15 years, mostly recently serving as the director of the data center optimization initiative since 2014.

The Office of Governmentwide Policy has faced significant turnover over the past year.

Current GSA Deputy Administrator Allison Brigati started off as the leader of OGP in July 2017 before getting a promotion in February.

Murphy named Jessica Salmoiraghi as the new associate administrator for OGP in April to replace Brigati.

Angerman has been acting for five months as was Jonathan Kraden in Sale’s former position.