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Doan v. Waxman: Let's get ready to rumble

I was on Federal News Radio this morning discussing the upcoming Doan v. Waxman face-off. Here that here. (It was the Buzz of the Week for the 3.12 issue of FCW... and you can hear it here.)

But I'm curious if this just becomes a distraction for GSA.

They say the cardinal rule in Washington is not to do anything that ends up on the front page of the newspaper. Extending that rule, feds also do not want to be asked to testify before a congressional committee or get into a fight with auditors. The administrator of the General Services Administration has managed to do all three.

But she does have support out there. Bob Livingston, a former Republican Representative from Louisiana, wrote a piece in the Washington Times in support of GSA Administrator Lurita Doan.

Soon after she pushed the agency to find sources of wasteful spending, she encountered the expected resistance from one of her departments heads who was asked, as all were, to simply live within the budget appropriated by Congress and to forgo part of the extra money -- a $5 million agency supplement -- that the other offices within GSA provided to the Office of the Inspector General on top of its appropriated budget. The GSA IG refused to make any improvements in his operations or recognize that any wasteful spending could be identified or reduced.

Quite predictably, the IG then complained to Congress, threatening all sorts of calamities if forced to live within the appropriated budget. Most members of Congress are still unaware that the GSA IG receives a supplement over and above the appropriation. Then, The Washington Post theatrically reported that Mrs. Doan was trying to limit the inspector general's ability to conduct independent audits and investigations by cutting the budget. They misled their readers, just as the IG misled Congress, by not revealing that the OIG was seeking an increase to its supplement while every other GSA department was cutting its budget.

Both are from New Orleans, so...

It will be interesting to see how Doan approaches the Waxman meeting. But on the Federal News Radio this morning, they started the segment with Michael Buffer's "Let's Get Ready to Rumble," which Buffer has trademarked. If you are one of the two people who has never heard it... you can hear it on his site.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Mar 12, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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