Three named to top GSA contract posts

ITS assistant commissioner fills vacancies in GWAC and schedule programs

The sidelining of Martha Johnson’s confirmation as administrator of the General Services Administration may be entering its eighth month, but no such delays will be entertained in the agency’s Federal Acquisition Service, Integrated Technology Services, said ITS Assistant Commissioner Ed O’Hare.

The past 12 months at GSA have seen three acting administrators, a new assistant commissioner [O’Hare], and new directors in three of ITS’s six divisions, he said. “If you’re a GS-13 looking at this organization, you might find that unsettling.”

O’Hare has named Michael O’Neill the new deputy for governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) programs. O’Neill’s commute won’t change; he currently is the ITS deputy for IT Schedule programs.

Patricia Waddell, formerly director and chief operating officer of GSA’s Center for IT Schedule Programs, will expand her duties to take over from O’Neill as ITS deputy for IT Schedule programs.

And Damon McClure, formerly a GSA procurement specialist, is the new director of the Office of Acquisition Operations. For the past year, the post had been filled in an acting capacity by James Connors, who is now a supervisory contract specialist in the contract operations division.

The new appointments are permanent, O’Hare said. “Nobody acting; no vacancies.”

The position of ITS director of GWAC and IT schedule programs, held by Mary Powers-King until her retirement Jan. 3, is not being filled. Instead, her duties have been split between O’Neill and Waddell.

The Federal Acquisition Service has seen a number of other recent departures. For example, Jim Ghiloni, deputy office director for GWAC programs, moved to FAS’s Office of Assisted Acquisitions, and Tyree Varnado, FAS deputy commissioner, also retired on Jan. 3.

The departures should come as no surprise, O’Hare said. “You’ve got a change of administration, so a lot of that has to be expected. A lot of people retired; the workforce is getting older; we know that, too.

“There’s been a lot of change; I get it; I understand it can be unsettling,” he added. “But change itself needn’t be a problem if it’s accompanied by ongoing communication. It’s why Rick [Ferguson, communications and customer engagement] is here. I have someone in charge of communications, to industry, to my employees, to our potential customers.”

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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