Senate committee hears from Doan

Lurita Doan told a Senate committee today that if she is confirmed as the new leader of the General Services Administration, she will improve face-to-face communication with customers and implement quantifiable measurements for improvement to take the agency through its troubles.

President Bush nominated Doan to become the agency's administrator April 6. Today's questioning by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is the next step in the confirmation process. The senators involved in the hearing asked her about contracting issues, the financial problems at GSA, the buyout and early-out packages the agency is offering employees, and her ideas for mending fences with its customers.

In her opening statement, Doan said she would “establish quantifiable performance metrics to measure how GSA services stack up.” Suitable measurements include the time it takes to issue contracts, the costs associated with contract awards and compliance with regulations.

By using objective metrics, GSA can show its customers -- many of whom are unhappy with the federal contracting agency -- that its services are quantifiably better, faster and less expensive, she told the panel.

Moreover, to regain customers' business, Doan said that “a good deal of groveling will be involved, and I am willing to do that.”

She also addressed low morale at GSA, assuring the Senate panel that making GSA one of the best government agencies to work for is another priority for her.

“I will value the contributions of employees, welcome new ideas and aggressively recruit gifted people into government service,” Doan said.

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