2016 is shaping up to be another busy year for GSA and FAS. Budgets remain tight across the federal government and agencies rely on us to help them find the savings they need to serve the American people efficiently and cost effectively.
I’ve written before about how FAS, along with our industry stakeholders, is transforming the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program to ensure it continues to offer the efficiency and value it was created to provide.
As you know, we’ve taken on quite a monumental task. But we’ve made great strides to date, including giving our contracting professionals access to better tools and more data. Today, I’m happy to announce another addition to our team: Judith Zawatsky has agreed to take a hiatus from her position as acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) to join the FAS Commissioner’s office in the newly created role of MAS Transformation Program Manager. Her duties will include leading the MAS Governance Council, a decision-making body comprised of FAS executives and acquisition professionals tasked with developing a strategic, comprehensive approach to the MAS program.
Directly prior to this appointment, Judith served as the federal manager for the government-wide eGov environment, operating and modernizing the ten federal award systems at an annual budget in excess of $110,000,000. Before that, she was Director of Outreach and Stakeholder Management for IAE and spent three years as Branch Chief, Special Programs, MAS Program Division. In that role, Judith was charged to develop and implement enterprise-wide innovative approaches for transforming MAS acquisition processes to improve cycle times, management oversight, regulatory adherence, improved efficiency, and cost savings — items that mesh with our current plans for transforming acquisition.
Before joining GSA ten years ago, Judith spent several years “on the other side of the desk” as vice president of a local consulting firm. There, she created a successful Contract Management Business Unit, managing a team of proposal specialists and contract administrators who handled the ongoing administration of federal contracts for industry clients, including preparing and negotiating GSA Schedule offers and managing the federal RFP process.
This appointment comes at an exciting time as we move forward with several initiatives to make it easier for both federal and industry partners to use the MAS program. These include creating a plain language roadmap to achieve a Schedules contract and adjusting the two-year experience requirement so new, innovative companies can offer their products and services to the federal government sooner. Judith will also oversee the upcoming implementation of the Formatted Product Tool (FPT), designed to automate price comparisons for like items, remove burdensome processes for both vendors and federal buyers, and improve our customer’s GSA Advantage! shopping experience.
With all her hands-on knowledge of the program, including policy, operations, and systems, I know you’ll agree that she is the right person to lead the MAS Transformation effort. The experience and expertise that she brings to this group makes Judith Zawatsky a valuable addition to our already strong team.