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FCW Insider: A new GSA administrator?


Could there be a new GSA administrator before the end of the Bush administration?

The assumption was that the White House was going to stick with David Bibb, the deputy administrator. Bibb is well respected and trusted across the organization. But for the past few weeks, I have been hearing pings that the administration is looking to name somebody to that post for the rest of the term. From what I understand, President Bush can name an acting administrator for 6 months without requiring Senate approval. And, guess what... we are just about at the six month point before the end of the Bush administration.

So I have been hearing whispers about a new administrator. Last night, I was able to confirm that the administration approached Renny DiPentima, the former president and chief executive officer of SRA International, about heading GSA. DiPentima, who seems very happy sitting on a number of boards, told me he was very appreciative that they asked him, but that he was not interested right now. I have heard other names mentioned -- some seemingly possible, others seem like merely talk.

One former GSAer told me last night that even if the administration asked, it doesn't mean that they will actually fill the GSA administrator job. That is certainly true, but I think conventional wisdom was that they would let Bibb serve out the administration. Of course, conventional wisdom said that they wouldn't ask for Lurita Doan's resignation... so much for wisdom -- conventional or otherwise.

It is also reassuring that they are talking to somebody of DiPentima's caliber. DiPentima is one of the best and the brightest and is one of a handful of people who would be ready on day one.

Two other related GSA notes:

Watch for political appointees to take two GSA positions: general counsel and chief acquisition officer. As I mentioned after Doan's departure, the Bush administration had been pushing Doan to put political appointees in both of those positions, which are
currently filled in an acting capacity by Lennard Loewentritt, and the office of the chief acquisition officer, currently filled in an acting capacity by David Drabkin. Well, apparently there will be political appointees named to those posts.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jun 04, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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