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Posts Tagged ‘GSA

DorobekInsider: More shifts at GSA

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We’ve been tracking the changes going on over at GSA… Last week, we mentioned that Tyree Varnado is the acting FAS Commissioner effective September 21.

Today, we’re hearing that John Phelps is going to GSA’s National Capital Region to serve as Acting Regional Administrator, effective today. NCR is GSA’s largest region. Phelps has has served as GSA’s chief of staff since July 3, 2006 and it looks like he will serve in both roles.

Tony Reed, who has served as the regional administrator of the National Capital Region since June 11, 2007, is apparently coming to GSA headquarters to serve as a special assistant to GSA Acting Administrator Jim Williams.

Only partially confirmed, but… it comes from good sources.

Written by cdorobek

September 24, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Posted in GSA, Whose In and Whose Out

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DorobekInsider: Doan-Palin — separated at birth?

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Needless to say, Lurita Doan is a controversial person. As most people know, she does a weekly column for Federal News Radio. This column about oversight was particularly controversial. Frankly, regardless of whether you like or dislike her, it makes for great radio because she’ll say things other people will not say.

But Doan sent out the following e-mail that included this link that had a Doan-Palin separated at birth.

Doan’s note:

A friend just sent this weblink (linking me to Palin) to my attention and I decided to forward it on to you.

I think it is interesting to note, that there are obvious similarities in the “playbook” run by media, namely,

1. Don’t attack the policy, attack the person.
2. Allege “corruption” of whatever action is taken regarding any procurement.
3. Allege “interference” when an executive questions a decision
4. Drag the executive’s young daughter into the mud slinging
5. Crank up the bloggers and the media to spew the mud as thickly as possible.

Quite comical really, but, then again it is effective. Gov. Palin, no doubt, has already gotten used to this…took me a while but eventually I did too.

Have to admit that I rather admire Gov Palin, so if the bloggers and nutjobs want to cite similarities and suggest that we are separated at birth….well there is a lot worse that has been said about both of us.


To be honest, I can understand how difficult it must be to be under the media spotlight. Frankly, we in the media — and the public at large — is quick to judge. And, frankly, we as the media don’t always get it right. And there is often more to the story.

To be fair, it is often difficult to get ‘the rest of the story.’ That often becomes more clear over time, and by the time that picture becomes more clear, we’ve moved on. So I hear — and understand — her frustration.

Written by cdorobek

September 23, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Posted in Circuit

Tagged with , , Positive reviews for the new FAS commissioner

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GSA's Tyree Varnado

GSA's Tyree Varnado

We broke the news yesterday that GSA will announce — possibly as soon as today — that Tyree Varnado will be the acting FAS Commissioner effective September 21. In fact, it looks like GSA may have put the announcement out overnight.

The appointment is the latest in a series of moves within GSA to fill vacancies. The FAS Commissioner post is vacant, of course, because Jim Williams was named GSA’s acting administrator. Initially, Wiliams had named Barney Brasseux as acting FAS Commissioner, who was his deputy. Earier this week, however, Brasseux was named the deputy GSA administrator. So that left the FAS commissioner’s office vacant again. (Are you following all of this? We need a chart or something.) So Williams this week, Williams namedVarnado to be FAS commissioner.

I’ll tell you — Varnado has a big fan club.

Among the comments I’ve received already…

From a FAS insider:

Tyree is a good man and it does indeed help to unify the entire GSA team by selecting someone outside of DC to serve in this capacity.

From a GSAer…

Right decision, really solid fellow.

And one GSA observer:

Tyree is an excellent choice.

The over all consensus is that selecting someone from GSA’s regions is a good decision. GSA’s regions can often be problematic, particularly given that each region has regional administrators that who are political appointees and it can sometimes be difficult to get the agency pointed in the same direction.

But a number of people described Varnado as a good leader.

The Federal Acquisition Service, of course, was formed earlier this year by merging the Federal Supply Service and the Federal Technology Service. That merger still needs careful management if it is going to be successful, many observers believe.

We’re working on getting somebody who can talk about all of these issues for this afternoon’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

Written by cdorobek

September 19, 2008 at 6:51 AM GSA names Tyree Varnado to key acquisition post

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We told you about the leadership shuffles going on over at GSA. Acting Administrator Jim Williams Jim Williams named Barney Brasseux as the agency’s number two official. That, of course, left a vacancy at the Federal Acquisition Service, where Brasseaux has been serving as the acting FAS commissioner.

I just got word that Williams has named Tyree Varnado to be the acting FAS Commissioner effective September 21.

Varnado will be permanently reassigned as the FAS deputy commissioner while holding serving as the acting FAS Commissioner.

Since December 2002, Varnado has been the assistant regional administrator for FAS in GSA’s greater southwest region.

Of course, there are actings all over GSA’s leadership because Williams’ nomination to be GSA administration — non-acting, if you will — has a hold by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). It’s unlikely that Grassley is going to lift that hold.

I don’t know Varnado, but I think it is a fascinating move — selecting somebody from outside the beltway. I also have a lot of faith in Williams.

I have already received this comment:

Not only a great guy, but it sends the right message that DC is NOT the center of the universe. That Jim Williams is a sharp dude.

Know Varnado? Do share.

And read Varnado’s bio from GSA after the break…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

September 18, 2008 at 6:43 PM Brasseux named GSA’s deputy administrator

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GSA watchers have been awaiting word on who would be GSA’s deputy administrator. Well, on Wednesday, GSA Acting Administrator Jim Williams named Barney Brasseux as the agency’s number two official.

Brasseaux is widely respected. He served as Williams deputy when he was commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, and had just been named the acting FAS commissioner soon after Williams moved to the corner office.

What remains unclear is whether Brasseaux will be both the deputy administrator and acting FAS commissioner, which seems to be a lot of work, or who Williams will name to the FAS post.

The official release is expected today.

Update: I’m hearing that Brasseaux will not fill both the deputy and FAS job, and that the FAS job will be filled by an outside the Beltway person. Stay tuned.

Read Brasseaux’s bio after the break.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

September 18, 2008 at 7:31 AM Grassley likely to keep his Williams hold

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Off topic — today is the birthday of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Grassley, of course, is the man who has a quixotic hold on the nomination of Jim Williams to be GSA administrator. Grassley’s beef, of course, is over what he believes are misdeeds of Williams to get a GSA schedule contract for Sun Microsystems. Of course, Gassley contends that Williams’ actions cost the government money. Sun has since decided to walk away from the schedule contracts, which is more likely to actually cost the government money. (Both are equally unprovable, but… fact are overrated anyway.)

Grassley’s staff sent Williams and GSA a whole slew of questions in the interest of resolving the hold that the Iowa Republican has put on Williams’ nomination.

Well, don’t look for that to be resolved any time soon.

Capitol Hill sources tell me that the Senator’s staff is still not satisified — and the letter is to come as soon as this week.

It’s too bad.

Of course, Williams was gracious enough to appear on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief on Monday. Hear the interview with Williams here, where we touch briefly on this subject. [.mp3]

Written by cdorobek

September 17, 2008 at 9:21 PM