The General Services Administration has taken over the acquisition portion of an effort to consolidate human resources systems across government.
The HR consolidation is part of a broader Bush administration effort to make agencies move to shared back-end information technology systems in several areas. GSA's new role, established in a memorandum of understanding signed Dec. 19, marks a major shift in how the administration is implementing the effort.
Office of Personnel Management spokesman Peter Graves said OPM is still the managing partner for the HR project and is responsible for setting the requirements for shared service providers. The private sector providers GSA will select would supplement the five government agencies that currently serve as shared providers.
One government official familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the move will allow OPM to focus on setting up the contents of the program rather than the acquisition element.
Starting next week, GSA officials will "work out the nuts and bolts of the acquisition strategy with OPM," a GSA spokesman said.
Originally, OPM officials said they would release a request for proposals for prospective private sector providers sometime in 2006 and make awards by the end of the year. But that never materialized.
According to a GSA spokesman, a notice will be published on FedBizOpps on Jan. 20 containing more information about the contracting process. On Jan. 30, a draft statement of objectives, along with the pre-certification requirements, will be published.
A question and answer session for prospective bidders is scheduled for Feb. 14, and on March 1, responses to questions that come up in that session will be published on FedBizOpps.
Offers will be due on April 15; GSA will finish evaluating them on June 30.
The GSA spokesman said the agency may consider moving to a similar acquisition strategy for the financial management line of business, but cannot discuss the details since the Office of Management and Budget is still completing a review.
Daniel Pulliam, GovExec.com