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GSA Moves to Strengthen Acquisition Activities

Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer Established

GSA #10095

June 22, 2004
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. General Services Administration is implementing a number of important initiatives to strengthen its acquisition activities. Today, Administrator Stephen A. Perry announced the establishment of the Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer and elevated this new division to report directly to the Administrator.

"Establishing this office at the highest level in our organization reflects the importance of our acquisition responsibilities which truly are at the heart of GSA’s core mission of providing acquisition services on behalf of other federal agencies," Administrator Perry said.  The office of the Chief Acquisition Officer (OCAO) is responsible for managing a broad range of acquisition activities including: ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies; fostering full and open competition for contract awards; developing the acquisition workforce, and accountability for acquisition decision making.  

To quickly bring the new office into operation, Administrator Perry today named GSA Chief of Staff Karl H. Reichelt to also serve as the agency’s Chief Acquisition Officer on an interim basis while the recruitment process for a permanently appointed CAO is completed.

“Karl’s leadership, management skills and commitment to improving our acquisition activities is just what is needed to get this new office off to a successful start,” Administrator Perry said. 

Mr. Reichelt, appointed Chief of Staff in January after two years as GSA's Regional Administrator for the Northeast & Caribbean Region, said that “as immediate goals, GSA needs to ensure robust competition for federal government business, heightened development of the government-wide acquisition workforce and aggressive actions to fortify the integrity of acquisition activities of contracting officers, government agencies and the private vendor community."

The Office of the CAO consists of functions formerly under GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy, including the Office of the Senior Procurement Executive, Contract Policy Division, Acquisition Systems Division (including the President’s E-Government initiative for the Integrated Acquisition Environment), Acquisition Workforce Division and the Suspension/Debarment Division. The Chief Acquisition Officer will participate in the new Chief Acquisition Officer Council, and has responsibility for overseeing all of GSA’s contract vehicles including the Multiple Award Schedules, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), City-Pairs, and the federal credit card programs. The OCAO will also be responsible for policy, training and management of GSA’s acquisition workforce, numbering 2,400 associates nationally.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement, property management and policy agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing governmentwide policies. GSA, comprised of 13,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of over one million federal workers located in more than 8,000 government-owned and leased buildings in 2,000 U.S. communities.