GSA appoints Federal Acquisition Service chief

Veteran procurement specialist Thomas Sharpe comes over from Treasury.

The Federal Acquisition Service, one of two divisions of the General Services Administration that courted trouble last year for overspending on conferences, has a new commissioner, GSA announced on Tuesday.

Thomas Sharpe, the senior procurement executive at the Treasury Department who has 30 years of public and private-sector acquisitions experience, will take over the FAS, according to an announcement by acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini, who also came from Treasury.

Sharpe’s position had been held on an acting basis by Mary Davie, following the September departure of Steven Kempf, who went on medical leave just as lawmakers began probing an FAS conference held in Arlington, Va. Thousands of dollars were spent on team-building exercises and props at the conference. Kempf has returned to GSA as a senior adviser on acquisition.

“Over the past year, GSA has made significant progress toward refocusing on our mission and giving the American people the kind of efficient and effective service they deserve,” Tangherlini said in a statement. Sharpe's “experience as an acquisition leader both in government and the private sector as well as his work representing a key customer of GSA at the Treasury Department make him uniquely qualified to help GSA better serve all of our partners."

Sharpe joins the division as it pushes for greater use of strategic sourcing by other agencies and updates the list of contractors eligible to bid for supplies and services work under its general schedules.

Before joining Treasury, Sharpe was a consulting principal with IBM Business Consulting Services specializing in government customers. He has also held senior procurement and managerial roles with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Department.