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Archive for March 2nd, 2010

DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Drabkin to join Northrop

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The DorobekINSIDER told you last week that GSA’s deputy chief acquisition officer David Drabkin will be retiring. In fact, his last day at GSA HQ is today. Well, the DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that Drabkin will join Northrop, where he will start on March 8. We don’t yet now what his job will be.

As we said earlier, Drabkin is one of the most respected people in the government procurement community and has had a distinguished career.

Mr. Drabkin has served GSA for nearly 10 years including a tour on detail to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

He served on the Acquisition Advisory Panel (SARA Panel), Deputy Program Manager, Pentagon Renovation Program, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Process and Policies), Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Reform) (ODUSD(AR)); and the Director, Regulatory Reform and Implementation, ODUSD(AR), where he served as the Project Manager for FASA Implementation.

The question buzzing around the procurement community: Who will replace Drabkin as the acting chief procurement officer. It is an important post given that the Chief Procurement Officer, Michael Robertson, who also serves as the head of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy and the White House liason. Robertson worked for then-Senator Barack Obama as the legislative coordinator and deputy to the chief counsel. In that post, he managed the appropriations process, handled judicial nominations, and conducted political outreach to promote Obama’s legislative priorities. But he has suggested that he is not a government contracting expert — and it is not his forte. Therefore, the deputy chief procurement officer becomes very important.

In the speculation, there are a few names in the mix. If GSA officials decide to hire from within the agency — and that isn’t certain at this point, but if they decide to hire from within GSA, one of the names that is making the speculation rounds is Joseph Neurauter, who served as the chief procurement officer at HUD before rejoining GSA. The other is Al Matera, director of GSA’s Acquisition Policy Division.

There isn’t any official word yet — about an acting deputy nor how GSA plans to move forward. We’ll keep watching it.

Written by cdorobek

March 2, 2010 at 4:58 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Sen. Brown to be ranking member on contracting oversight subcommittee

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The DorobekINSIDER reported first that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) will take over as the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ad hoc subcommittee on contracting oversight.

Brown will replace Sen. Bill Bennett (R-UT).

Brown is well known for winning the Massachusetts senate seat. But he is perhaps best know to feds because, in one of his first post-election interviews on ABC’s This Week, said that feds were overpaid.

We need to put a freeze on federal hires and federal raises because, as you know, federal employees are making twice as much as their private counterparts.

What we don’t know are his thoughts and ideas about government contracting.

The contracting oversight subcommittee was created this year at the request of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Brown will also serve on the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees, according to the WP.

Written by cdorobek

March 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA’s Johnson names Costa as associate administrator

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Now on the job for about a month, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson is getting her staff in place.

Today, Johnson announced that Tony Costa, currently the deputy commissioner of GSA’s Public Building Service, will become the new associate administrator.

“In my first weeks at GSA I have been eager to set the organization’s future course and strengthen the strategic thinking done directly in the Administrator’s office,” Johnson said in a note to GSA employees. “Tony will identify the arenas in which we can provide GSA enterprise-wide solutions to our customers and will then help me drive us toward providing those solutions. That will require that he find ways to boost our business analytics and risk management capability as well as to change the way we market and deliver solutions.”

Read the full memo to staff below:

Subject New Addition to the Front Office

MEMORANDUM FROM ADMINISTRATOR MARTHA JOHNSON

To: All GSA Employees
Subject: New Addition to the Front Office

I am delighted to announce that Tony Costa, currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, will be joining my immediate staff as an Associate Administrator. In my first weeks at GSA I have been eager to set the organization’s future course and strengthen the strategic thinking done directly in the Administrator’s office. Tony will be crucial in that work.

In this capacity, Tony will identify the arenas in which we can provide GSA enterprise-wide solutions to our customers and will then help me drive us toward providing those solutions. That will require that he find ways to boost our business analytics and risk management capability as well as to change the way we market and deliver solutions.

Together, he and I will also focus on how GSA – the leadership and the entire organization – can fully engage in our strategic planning and implementation. Too often, we develop great plans, set up task groups for initiatives, and report on measures, only to return quickly to business as usual. I believe we also need to change fundamental behaviors, methods, and processes in order to reach our transformational goals.

Tony has a deep history with GSA and is passionate about helping the organization. His experience and critical thinking will be of particular value as we seek to address the significant new challenges of our market and the demand for sophisticated and innovative solutions. Join me in welcoming him to this new role.

Sincerely,

Martha

Hear Costa from December 2009 on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Off the Shelf with Larry Allen program. Hear that conversation here.

Written by cdorobek

March 2, 2010 at 12:16 PM