The General Services Administration (GSA) recently bid farewell to one of its most valued employees. John Ray, most recently an executive adviser in the Office of Information, Integrity and Access, spent the last 42 years in public service, including 39 with the GSA.
John Ray joined the GSA soon after Ray Tomlinson sent the first email. Over the course of his career, he watched enterprise technology evolve from supercomputers and mainframes to cloud-based service models and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs.
A press release from the GSA touches on some of the highlights of his long and distinguished career:
John joined the then GSA Automated Data and Telecommunications Service (ADTS) in February 1974 where he served as an ADP and telecommunications coordinator responsible for reviewing and recommending whether GSA should approve agency procurement requests for computer and telecommunication systems and services. In August 1977 he was promoted and became the first program manager of the then GSA Teleprocessing Services Program (TSP) which was a Government-wide program for acquiring computer services (now known as Cloud services) from industry using multiple award schedule contracts and basic agreements for negotiated procurements.
He and his program office staff worked in close coordination with a large industry trade association (now TechAmerica) and Federal user agencies to develop concepts and plans and to ensure industry and user agency acceptance for major enhancements to TSP multiple award schedule contracts. He and the program office staff worked with GSA regulation and contracting staffs to prepare regulation and schedule contract provisions for the enhancements which included acquiring support, training and migration services (migration as an un-priced option) using task orders in conjunction with orders for computing services. A very significant enhancement was the net discount which allowed individual schedule contractors flexibility to increase the discount for individual procurements without impacting their schedule contract price reduction clause.
After serving as the TSP program manager for nearly 12 years, he transferred in early 1989 to the then GSA Information Resources Management Service which became the then Federal Technology Service and the current Office of Governmentwide Policy (OGP). His OGP responsibilities included attending Congressional hearings on information technology, cyber-security and related acquisition topics and reviewing and commenting on proposed legislation.
As one of Ray’s colleagues told FCW, "John’s career in GSA policy has provided a model for others, demonstrating that one very knowledgeable person can have substantial positive impact in the government."