Commerce exec picked to head GSA

David Barram, deputy secretary of the Commerce Department and a former Apple Computer Inc. executive, has been chosen to succeed Roger Johnson as head of the General Services Administration.

The appointment represents the second consecutive time President Clinton has selected a business leader to act as administrator at GSA.

In an interview last week, Barram said he plans to emphasize the time- and money-saving aspects of high technology to make GSA and the rest of the government more efficient. "GSA has been focused on increasing efficiency with procurement, systems, communications and other programs" he said. "Roger has made dramatic improvements, and I'd like to carry on in that direction."

Barram pledged to work with the congressional committees that oversee procurement reform and other aspects of GSA's mission and added that he will seek cooperation from vendors who sell high-tech equipment and services to the government. "As we increase our understanding of technology, we need to keep working with our vendors and customers to get more bang for the buck," he said.

Barram started his 23-year high-technology career with Hewlett-Packard Co., where he worked for 13 years before accepting a position in 1983 at Silicon Graphics Inc. Two years later, he took on his second CFO job at Apple before his venture into public service.

Although already confirmed for his job at Commerce, Barram must undergo the process yet again before his official appointment as GSA administrator. He will serve as acting administrator until his confirmation is completed.

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