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FCW Insider: Williams loves his job at GSA

So there was a rumor making the rounds that GSA's acquisition guru Jim Williams was going to be leaving -- and leaving for some high-paying private sector job.

Right at the start, I spoke to him myself this morning and he tells me its just not true. He isn't looking anyway, but it is particularly not true because he is under the old retirement system, so he needs to be 55-years-old and (I'm not 100 percent sure of this, but I know somebody will correct me if I'm wrong) have 20 years of service. For Williams, that won't occur until 2009. So he said it doesn't make financial sense for him to leave government at this point.

But beyond that, he says he is loving what he is doing and he is passionate about the work that he is doing. AND... he said that if/when he does leave government, he won't talk to any companies until he is no longer a fed. "I'll be a fed until my last day of work," he said. Always a class act, that Williams is.

The rumor apparently grew out of a GSA off-site meeting where Williams apparently told somebody that he was pondering his next job... or something along those lines.

The disappointing thing is that Williams probably will have to look elsewhere simply because of the money. This is my speculation and not anything he said, but I know that Williams does have kids who will be either are or will be going to college soon... and I know that colleges are not inexpensive. I moderated an interesting panel this morning of the leaders of a number of contracts and we were talking about the procurement workforce issues. One of the issues raised was money. Some DOD folks are hopeful that the new pay and personnel system will help them keep the good ones, but... this still seems like an enormous issue to me -- the government just is not competitive in the job market. And, like everything else, it is only getting more competitive.

And one point on the issue of rumors... The rumor mill is always interesting, particularly in this community, which is relatively small, when it comes right down to it. We always like to follow up on those kinds of tips -- so keep 'em coming. And we're always cautious about reporting those kinds of things, even in this kind of format, for obvious reasons. And sometimes it means that there is a whole layer of conversation that goes out that we just can't -- or don't -- write about because people won't -- or don't -- talk about it in a public way.

All of that being said, when I can debunk a rumor that is going around, I try to do that.

So... Jim Williams is here for awhile more.

Speaking personally -- thank goodness!

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jan 17, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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