Senate committee concerned about Doan's IG comments

The Senate Armed Services Committee is concerned about the attitude of the General Services Administration’s leaders toward the inspector general’s oversight, the committee’s general counsel said today.

Peter Levine, general counsel and chief adviser to committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said GSA Administrator Lurita Doan’s attacks on GSA IG Brian Miller raised flags with the committee.

“There may be a change in attitude at GSA, which would undermine progress that I think the agency has made over the last three or four years,” he said in a speech at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference.

The committee is watching GSA, although it has not reached any conclusions on the situation.

In October 2006, Doan said she intended to pull funding away from the IG and send more audits to small auditing firms. She said having the Office of the IG and the private businesses performing the same audits would waste money. She also made news when some media outlets reported that she referred to Miller as a terrorist.

Nevertheless, President Bush’s fiscal 2008 budget proposal tells GSA and the IG to work together to make the agency run efficiently. Giving few details, Andrew Patchan, senior auditor at GSA’s OIG, who also spoke today at the conference, said the pilot program is intended to bring the two sides to a comfortable medium.

Levine said Congress will not decrease IGs’ audits and investigations as long as they keep finding waste and abuses. Barely more than half of all task orders are competitive, leaving plenty of room for problems. Meanwhile, fewer audits leave the government vulnerable.

Levine also suggested eliminating abuses by replenishing the workforce with qualified people.

He emphasized the importance of rebuilding the acquisition workforce to better manage government contracting. Many current contracting officers are overwhelmed with the amount of work they have. He said it will take at least 15 years to refill the workforce. There is no quick fix, he said.

As for an overall contracting agenda, Levine said the committee’s new Democratic leaders will not divert far from the direction the committee was headed.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group