Waxman to probe Doan's dealings

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has requested information from General Services Administration administrator Lurita Doan as part of an investigation into allegations about why she intervened in proceedings to consider the suspension or debarment of major IT contractors and other procurement irregularities.

Documents and communications related to the procurement are due to the committee by Feb. 2.

Waxman’s letter follows an article published in the Washington Post that highlighted missteps made by Doan alleging that she tried to skirt federal procurement regulations by attempting to give a no-bid contract to a company operated by a close friend. Doan should have competitively bid the contract under federal regulations.

Doan also intervened in an effort to determine whether GSA should suspend several major contractors from continuing to do business with the federal government after they had been accused of making fraudulent claims, and had paid the Justice Department $66 million to settle allegations that they kept travel rebates that should have gone to GSA, according to the published report.

Those contractors were KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Booz Allen Hamilton and BearingPoint Inc.

GSA’s debarment office started actions against the companies, issuing letters about why they should be suspended from federal business, according to the Post article. Doan allegedly requested that GSA drop the show-cause process. The companies agreed to pass through travel rebates to GSA in the future.

Doan also proposed to reduce the GSA inspector general’s role in pre-award audits after the IG had initiated an investigation into the agency’s no-bid contract with Public Affairs Group Inc., the report said.

Waxman previously had written to Doan in December about her actions to reduce the IG’s role in pre-award audits.

Doan last year tried to steer the public relations contract valued at about $20,000 to the company’s founder and CEO, Edie Fraser. GSA attorneys and other officials notified Doan of the possible procurement violations. Waxman also sought information from Alan Swendiman, who was the GSA general counsel at the time, and from Fraser.

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