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Monday, January 08, 2007

GSA schedules a place for HR line of business

In a move that underscores how the Human Resources Line of Business is maturing, the General Services Administration will establish a place on its HR schedule for commercial shared-services providers.

GSA plans to release a statement of objectives next month, and name private-sector providers by the summer.

Under an agreement with the Office of Personnel Management, GSA plans to expand the existing 738x schedule, said Norm Enger, OPM’s director of the Human Resources Line of Business Program Management Office.

The schedule already comprises contractors for human resources services and investigative and reporting services for Equal Employment Opportunity compliance. “Plans are to complete the selection of private-sector HR LOB shared-services centers by summer 2007,” he said.

The Federal Acquisition Service will administer the procurement.

Under the HR LOB schedule, vendors will perform services to certain governmental minimum standards, said Robert Lam, an executive director at Accenture LLP of Reston, Va.

GSA will release a statement of objectives in early February as a heads-up to industry and an RFP in mid to late March, said John Sindelar, GSA’s soon-to-be-retired associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy.

OMB has named five agencies to provide shared services: the Treasury, Defense and Health and Human Services departments, the Interior Department’s National Business Center and the Agriculture Department’s National Finance Center.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity in this area [HR LOB],” Lam said.

For example, the Labor Department recently released an RFP for a public or private shared-services provider to replace its current HR and payroll systems with integrated applications.

Unlike the HR LOB, federal officials still are trying to figure out the best way of proceeding with the Financial Management Line of Business.

“It could very well be similar to HR LOB. I’m not sure that the FM LOB acquisitions plan has been documented or brought to fruition. It’s not quite as far along as the HR LOB,” Lam said.

-Mary Mosquera, GCN.com

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