VA exec suspended; reason unclear

Timothy Foreman had criticized department in Web posting

The Veterans Affairs Department executive who advocates for small and disadvantaged businesses has been put on leave and is under investigation, possibly in connection to a letter he posted on the Web recently, according to a news report today in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Timothy Foreman has temporarily left his position as executive director of VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization in Washington, according to the report.

"Mr. Foreman has been put on administrative leave, and an internal investigation is taking place," VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts said today. "Due to privacy rules, no other information is available at this time."


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A federal employee for four decades, Foreman previously was director of small-business programs at the Navy and had joined VA 11 months ago, the Tribune-Review said.

According to the Tribune-Review article, Foreman’s suspension followed his online posting of a Sept. 7 letter he sent to Will Gunn, VA's general counsel. In the letter, Foreman expressed concern about VA contracting officers allegedly bypassing veteran-owned businesses in favor of firms on contracts with the General Services Administration.

Foreman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Ford Heard, VA’s acting associate deputy assistant secretary for procurement policy, systems and oversight, has been named interim executive director for the advocacy office in addition to his other duties, Roberts said.
 
His immediate priorities in the interim position include a “top-to-bottom review” of the advocacy office, considering mission and staffing among other issues, she said. In addition, Heard will prepare an annual report and preparing congressionally mandated letters to veteran-owned businesses on policies regarding verification of their status. “No deadlines will be missed,” Roberts said.
 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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