FCW Insider: The Burton retirement party
OK, this is over due, but... given that OFPP Administrator Paul Denett just announced his September departure
, it is a good time to get to a post from OFPP Deputy Administrator Rob Burton's retirement festivities.
As we mentioned last month in the 07.21.2008 issue of Federal Computer Week's Buzz of the Week
, it is the season for retirements -- and retirement parties. There was the IAC retirement party for Bob Suda. And last month, in just one week, there was festivities for Ed Meagher
, who has joined SRA International, and for Robert Burton. Leslie Field will be replacing Burton
in that post -- and likely in Denett's post as acting OFPP administrator.
Burton, however, represents a particular loss for OMB -- and for the procurement community. It has been a rough period for procurement and acquisition personnel, and Burton was one of the few people rallying them on -- to embrace competition and to think of their jobs strategically. And he is a person who loves procurement -- and procurement policy. And it shows. His passion for the subject is infectious.
At his retirement party, his colleagues roasted Burton as a person who liked reporters -- and he did. Burton was always very good about taking my calls. But, and maybe I'm being selfish here, but I think it was good for OMB, for OFPP, and for the procurement community. Because Burton was open, we were able to answer questions. It got the OMB viewpoint on many issues. And it created a level of trust. And, frankly, I think that is a big part of OFPP leadership -- getting the message out and spurring on the troops.
Burton had a wonderful retirement party held at the Dolley Madison House, which is located overlooking Lafayette Square. (I can't find any really good links for the Dolley Madison House; this one from the National Park Service
talks about Lafayette Square, including the Dolley Madison House.)