Federal Systems Integration and Management Center

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General Services Administration
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Agency overview
Formed April 1, 1972
Headquarters 1800 F Street, NW
Suite 3100
Washington, DC 20405
Employees 117
Annual budget $46.2 million
Agency executives Steve Viar [1],
Director
Christopher Hamm [2],
Deputy Director
Kenneth Evans,
Defense Sector Director
Kristen Knapper,
Civilian Sector Director
Kenneth Evans,
Enterprise Sector Director (Acting)
Website www.gsa.gov/fedsim

GSA FEDSIM provides assisted acquisition support for information technology systems and services, plus professional services, to other U.S. Government agencies on a fee for service basis. FEDSIM’s business lines include system and network operations and maintenance, development of new applications, purchases of hardware and software, and many other IT goods and services, as well as professional services such as logistics. FEDSIM contracts with large and small private sector companies for these systems and services.

History[edit]

In 1972, the U.S. Congress established the Federal Computer Performance Evaluation and Simulation Center at the General Services Administration (GSA) with the goal of providing expertise in computer performance evaluation and modeling to other Government agencies for a fee. GSA delegated the organization to the U.S. Air Force Data Automation Agency[3] as GSA’s executive agent. FEDSIM is funded by fees paid by its customer agencies rather than an appropriated budget. Initially, most FEDSIM projects supported the Air Force, Army, Navy, and other Defense Department agencies. Subsequently, FEDSIM’s clients have come to include all cabinet-level departments, many independent agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA, small U.S. Government offices, both houses of Congress, and the Judicial Branch. In its early years, FEDSIM supported about a dozen projects with about ten staff members; this has subsequently grown to more than two thousand projects in total, and in 2014 a staff of 130. FEDSIM’s annual revenue has grown from $1 million in the early 1970s to about $20 million in the mid 80’s and over $1 billion since the turn of the millennium. FEDSIM now outsources most of the work and has expanded its business lines from computer performance evaluation to include anything in information technology (IT) plus professional services. FEDSIM's increasing reliance on the private sector is consistent with the current Government policy of contracting out tasks that aren’t inherently governmental.[4] FEDSIM’s roles have evolved from technical analysis using internal computer performance experts during its first 20 years to award and administration of external contracts, financial management, and project management support for its agency customers during the last 20 years.

The U.S. Navy established the Federal Conversion Support Center[5] around the same time that GSA created FEDSIM. Because of Government regulations, agencies often needed to open their computer acquisitions to a variety of manufacturers; the Conversion Support Center analyzed the cost to convert software from one vendor architecture to another in that situation. The Conversion Support Center transferred to GSA in 1979 and became the core of GSA’s Office of Software Development and Information Technology (OSDIT).[6][7] Like FEDSIM, OSDIT provided technical experts to other agencies for a fee. In 1985, because of the small number of its Air Force-specific projects, FEDSIM transferred from the Air Force back to GSA. FEDSIM and OSDIT merged in 1990. As outsourcing became more prevalent in U.S. Government IT shops, FEDSIM created, awarded and administered contracts for IT services such as disaster recovery, local area networks, and data center outsourcing. System Integration has been FEDSIM’s single most important business area in the last 20 years. In 1987, FEDSIM was renamed the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center to reflect this change.

FEDSIM projects during the 70s and 80s included designing and optimizing agencies’ national data communications networks; simulation of the performance of a major weapons system; sizing and estimating the cost of creating a new agency data center; purchasing mainframe computers for client agencies; and many others. Large and long-running FEDSIM projects from the 80s and up to the present have included IT support of ADNET,[8] a multi-agency Anti-Drug Network; development of the Internal Revenue Service’s Electronic Filing system E-file; purchase of scientific computers for the National Institutes of Health; program management support to JIEDDO, the Defense Department’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization; and multi-faceted system integration projects for the Agency for International Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and others.

FEDSIM Directors
1 Col. Kent Berge 1972 – 1973
2 Col. Richard Lejk 1973 – 1977
3 Col. David Igelman[9] 1977 – 1980
4 Col. Richard Blair[10] 1980 – 1984
5 Col. Ben Gomez[11] 1984 – 1985
6 Col. Charles Conoyer 1985 - 1986
7 Charles Self 1986 - 1996
8 John Ortego 1996 - 1998
9 Tim McCurdy 1998 - 2003
10 Lisa Akers 2003 - 2010
11 Steve Viar 2010 -

FEDSIM’s leaders have gone on to become Assistant Commissioners, Commissioners, directors of the Government’s largest data centers, independent consultants, and in senior leadership positions in the industry.

Organization[edit]

FEDSIM is currently organized as a staff office of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) - Office of Assisted Acquisition Services. FEDSIM is divided into Defense, Civilian and Enterprise Sectors that understand the specialized circumstances and regulations applicable to the three groups. (The Enterprise Sector supports projects internal to the GSA.) These Sectors are subdivided into Groups focused on specific organizations like the Army or Air Force so that group staffs gain knowledge of their agencies and long-term relationships with the client. This specialization helps deliver value and innovative acquisition solutions.

Responsibilities[edit]

FEDSIM provides assisted acquisition services to civilian and military U.S. Government agencies worldwide. FEDSIM specializes in large, complex procurements. It establishes an Integrated Project Team that manages the procurement from requirements gathering to award and through to the end of the performance period. FEDSIM also supports less complex initiatives and offers consulting and advisory services for projects that do not require full-time support. FEDSIM offers innovative, dedicated approaches to acquisition resulting in cost savings and higher quality goods and services.

For example, over the last 10 years, FEDSIM has provided its agency clients with emerging methods and technologies like server virtualization and cloud computing; commercial off-the-shelf COTS software for system development with enterprise products like SAP and in niche areas like insurance underwriting; social media and mobile technologies; and others. FEDSIM has expanded the breadth of its offerings in professional services like logistics or to meet unique needs such as strategic weapon system planning and policy making for the Air Force.

FEDSIM acquisition innovations include the use of performance-based contracting methods[12] and strategic sourcing methods that lower costs by consolidating purchases across many agencies. As U.S. Government IT acquisitions have suffered a resurgence of legal disputes (protests) following a change in the applicable law,[13][14] FEDSIM has become experienced in protest defense to the point that agencies seek its services for this reason.

References[edit]