Federal Systems Integration and Management Center
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (May 2013)|
|General Services Administration|
|Formed||April 1, 1972|
|Headquarters||2100 Crystal Drive
|Annual budget||$46.2 million|
|Agency executives||Steve Viar ,
Christopher Hamm ,
Defense Sector Director
Civilian Sector Director
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.
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 as GSA’s executive agent. Unlike most Government offices, from its inception FEDSIM received no appropriated budget and was funded solely by its agency customers. In its early years, most FEDSIM projects supported the Air Force, Army, Navy, and other Defense Department agencies. Since then, FEDSIM’s clients have come to include every cabinet-level department, many independent agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA, small U.S. Government offices, both houses of Congress, and the Judicial Branch. Initially, FEDSIM supported about a dozen projects a year with about ten staff members; this has grown to more than two thousand projects over the 40 years of its existence and in 2013 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 accomplished this by outsourcing most of the work and expanding its business lines from computer performance evaluation to include anything in information technology (IT) plus professional services. FEDSIM has relied increasingly on the private sector, consistent with the current Government policy of contracting out tasks that aren’t inherently governmental. 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 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). 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, 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.
|1||Col. Kent Berge||1972 – 1973|
|2||Col. Richard Lejk||1973 – 1977|
|3||Col. David Igelman||1977 – 1980|
|4||Col. Richard Blair||1980 – 1984|
|5||Col. Ben Gomez||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 advanced in their careers to become Assistant Commissioners, Commissioners, directors of the Government’s largest data centers, independent consultants, and in senior leadership positions in the industry.
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 and Civilian Sectors that understand the specialized needs and regulations applicable to the two groups. These Sectors are subdivided into Groups focused on specific organizations like the Army or Air Force so that group staffs develop expertise in their agencies and long-term relationships with the client. This specialization helps deliver the best value and innovative acquisition solutions.
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 its award-winning use of performance-based contracting methods 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, FEDSIM has become expert in protest defense and is successful in almost all such disputes to the point that agencies seek its services for just this reason.
- GSA Client Support Center Directors
- FOSE 2012 Conference and Exposition - Speakers
- Proceedings of the Computer Performance Evaluation User's Group 1974 - FEDSIM Status Report
- Federal Acquisition Regulation, Subpart 7.5, Inherently Governmental Functions
- GAO Report FGMSD-77-34: Millions in Savings Possible in Converting Programs From One Computer to Another
- Jan. 15, 1979 ComputerWorld Article - Software Units Transfer to GSA
- OSDIT Strategic Information Resources Planning Handbook, Feb. 1985
- July 11, 2001 - GSA Boosts IT Support in War on Drugs
- July 31, 1978 ComputerWorld Article - Search for new FEDSIM Technical Director
- GAO Report on National Science Foundation computer performance, citing a FEDSIM report signed by Col. Blair
- Analysis of a chemical plant incident by Col. Ben Gomez (Ret.)
- OMB Best Practices for Performance-Based Contracting
- National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2008, P.L. 110-181
- Government Accountability Office - Bid Protests