GSA's Bibb to work with new firm

David Bibb, acting administrator at the General Services Administration, said today that after he retires September 1, he will have part ownership of a private real estate company that is being established.

The company has not publicly announced its existence or its plans, and Bibb said he could give few details. The company is waiting until it receives a minor piece of financing before it makes public announcements, Bibb said in a press conference.


Bibb also said the company will work with federal agencies and state and local governments. Although GSA has failed to make headway in public/private partnerships, he said, the company will work with those types of partnerships. Bibb said he could not say who would be the firm's principals or clients.
Bibb said he would be a salaried employee, but he and the company have not agreed on his new title.

“I do expect a small ownership position — but small. I emphasize small,” he said.

In May, Bibb told reporters he planned to retire in mid-2009, but the company has gotten a large portion of its financing, which shortened the time he needed to stay at GSA. He said he would have stayed at GSA until next year if the financing had not come through.

Bibb’s initial formal announcement about his retirement came June 25, a few hours earlier than the White House’s announcement nominating Jim Williams, commissioner at the Federal Acquisition Service, as agency administrator.

“It may sound like it was staged, but it is pretty coincidental that these are lining up as they are,” Bibb said.

Bibb said leadership changes often bring morale problems to an agency, but GSA employees were comfortable when he again became acting administrator following Lurita Doan's departure in April. He predicted the same reaction from GSA when and if Williams is confirmed by the Senate.

Getting new appointees up to speed would take months of briefings, "and it would have really upset our workforce,” he said.

Williams would have little more than six months to lead GSA if he were immediately confirmed. Some GSA experts have said Williams should be a caretaker of the agency, guiding it to the end of the administration.

“I can’t imagine Jim doing any job as a caretaker,” Bibb said. “Whether he’s working six months in a job or six years, he’s going to be an activist.”

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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