GSA chief of staff Germain steps aside

Danielle Germain, chief of staff at the General Services Administration since June, is leaving due to the time it's taken to get a permanent administrator in place.

Danielle Germain, chief of staff at the General Services Administration since June, today said Jan. 6 is her last day at GSA.

Germain took the position days after Martha Johnson, President Barack Obama's nominee for GSA administrator, had her confirmation hearing. However, six months later, Johnson still has not been confirmed.

"We all know that [GSA has] been in a period of transition for the last two years and considering the length of time it is taking to get a permanent administrator, I have decided to take advantage of another opportunity," Germain said in a statement today.

Germain made the announcement yesterday during a staff meeting, GSA spokesperson Sahar Wali confirmed today.

Cathy Kronopolus, the acting chief of staff at GSA before Germain arrived, will remain in her transition role as senior advisor to Stephen Leeds, the new acting GSA administrator. Leeds took the job in December 2009. Paul Prouty, the previous acting administrator, now is helping GSA in its latest transition. But Prouty is returning to his permanent job as regional commissioner for public buildings for the Rocky Mountain Region.

While these GSA jobs are in flux, Susan Brita is expected to start Jan. 25 as the deputy GSA administrator, said a senior GSA employee on condition of anonymity. However, GSA has made no announcements about Brita, except to say that Barney Brasseux, deputy GSA administrator, retired Jan. 3.

Brita currently is staff director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. Brita was waiting to make the move to GSA when Martha Johnson, the president's nominee to head up GSA, was confirmed as administrator, but the appointment has been stalled since spring 2009.

The employee expects that the Senate may not confirm Johnson.

“Something’s not right in an agency where our deputy leaves, our chief of staff leaves, we can’t get an administrator confirmed and we have four acting administrators during the course of two years,” the employee said.

In the last two years, GSA has been led by acting administrators, Leeds and Prouty, as well as David Bibb, former deputy GSA administrator, and Jim Williams, the current commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service.

"It's no secret that the agency has been in transition for two years. Despite being in transition, the great people that work at GSA continue to dutifully and competently run the business of government," Wali said.

About the Author

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

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