Likely OFPP nominee has history of standing firm

Gordon has already stood up to the administration on a small-business issue

Daniel Gordon, the likely pick to be administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, has taken on Obama administration officials in his role at the Government Accountability Office.

The White House had not formally announced Gordon’s nomination as of Friday morning, but two sources close to the search confirmed that he is the choice.


Update: Obama nominates Gordon to lead OFPP


Earlier this year, the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration pushed Gordon, GAO's acting general counsel, to reconsider GAO’s decision to give preference to businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones over other types of small businesses. Gordon refused.

“Our decision held that the plain meaning of the HUBZone statute creates a mandatory preference for HUBZone small-business concerns when the enumerated conditions of the statute are met,” he said.

Gordon maintained that the law mandates HUBZone set-asides, while making other small-business set-asides optional.

However, OMB Director Peter Orszag told agencies to reject GAO’s decisions and put all small businesses on an equal plane.

According to procurement observers and Gordon’s public record, Gordon has a clear-cut approach to procurement, backed by a wealth of experience, and reputation for candor and fairness. Gordon manages 150 attorneys who support GAO’s work, including its acquisition audits and bid protest function.

Larry Allen, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, who has worked with Gordon on occasion, called him straightforward and professional.

“We’ve not had any issues but in fact have always found GAO to be quite open in discussing issues of mutual interest, with Mr. Gordon being no exception,” he said.

Gordon is also an adjunct professor of government contracting at George Washington University. He’s written papers on bid protests and organizational conflicts of interest, and he co-wrote a paper on a framework for public procurement systems.

About the Author

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

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