Leaders from the Defense Logistics Agency and the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service signed an agreement Feb. 5 to reaffirm and expand the partnership between the two organizations.
At a signing ceremony in GSA’s F Street Washington, D.C., building, DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek met with Thomas Sharpe Jr., commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, from and the two signed an agreement summarizing new initiatives in the DLA-GSA partnership.
“This is truly a landmark occasion,” said Jeff Thurston, GSA deputy assistant commissioner for general supplies and services, who orchestrated the signing event. “This agreement is a step in making a great relationship even better for years to come. It is a tremendous opportunity to improve services and tax savings because we are the co-custodians of the national supply system.”
The agreement is rooted in a set of plans designated “Big Six” initiatives, through which DLA and GSA will work together to consolidate and improve processes for both agencies. Those initiatives include depot consolidation, supply reassignment, direct vendor delivery lessons learned, review of the 1971 National Supply System agreement, and eCommerce and eBusiness platforms.
“I appreciate this display of cooperation between our two agencies. These days, budgets aren’t getting any bigger,” Harnitchek said. “We owe it to our fellow citizens to ensure the money we have is spent wisely. That is just what this partnership will allow us to do.”
The six initiatives are intended to reduce overall cost to taxpayers, take advantage of economies of scale to bring savings to the government, and improve overall service delivery, while also ensuring a seamless transition for customers.
GSA officials are already looking at products they can transfer management of to DLA, including all hazardous materials.
“It simply makes more sense to move hazardous materials through DLA’s established network than GSA’s,” Clarke said. “I am confident in fulfilling these ambitious goals and committed to all the Big Six Initiatives. It’s good government and puts the nation and the taxpayer first. I thank the DLA for its friendship and long-standing commitment.”
DLA will share its experience with direct vendor delivery as GSA expands its network of vendor partners to store and ship existing stock items. In addition, the memorandum details an initiative to use eCommerce and eBusiness to provide an automated system to customers.
The two agencies will also revisit the 1971 National Supply System agreement to update it to a new era of supply support. This agreement divides management of federal supply groups and classes between DLA and GSA. But at 13 years old, the agreement’s language is outdated and no longer applicable, explained David Kless, national account manager for federal agencies in DLA Logistics Operations.
“Reviewing and updating this document will help delineate current divisions of responsibilities,” Kless said.
While the initial focus is on the Big Six initiatives, leaders in both organizations believe additional opportunities will emerge, Harnitchek said.
“We are great work partners with a long and distinguished history, and I see great things ahead of us,” he said at the agreement signing. “I’m really looking forward to what we’ll do together.”
Thomas Sharpe Jr., commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service, and DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek sign a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations Feb. 5 at GSA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo by Jacob Boyer
DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek speaks to DLA and General Services Administration employees Feb. 5 at GSA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., before signing a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations. Photo by Jacob Boyer