Doan endures political firestorm

With congressional pressure mounting and an ongoing investigation creating a cloud over her leadership, many observers wonder whether General Services Administration Administrator Lurita Doan can survive.From lawmakers requesting her resignation to the agency’s inspector general releasing another report on her contracting missteps, the controversies are starting to affect employee morale at GSA.But Doan said the challenges are part of the process of revamping the agency. “Transformational change does not come without a few bumps, and we have made great progress in 10 months,” Doan said in a statement to Federal Computer Week. “I’m no stranger to hardship. I’m doing just fine.”Industry observers and GSA insiders say that even if the current firestorm abates, Doan will face battle fatigue.Doan’s problems stem, in large part, from a political presentation that White House officials made at GSA’s headquarters in January. Two Democratic senators have called for her resignation because of that incident and other alleged improper behavior. Many in the federal information technology community are wondering whether Doan can handle the pressure. Battle fatigue takes an administrator’s attention away from the already tough job of running an agency, said Bob Woods, former commissioner of GSA’s Federal Technology Service and now president of Topside Consulting.“It is like watching a soap opera,” said one GSA employee, who requested anonymity.But others see a toughness in Doan that could carry her through what they view as a survivable firestorm. Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said Doan’s missteps are not serious enough to end her role as administrator. “Doan is a fighter, and she has a very firm idea of what she would like to do at GSA,” Allen said.Regardless of people’s views on Doan, some GSA employees worry that the controversies she has generated will harm the agency if she stays. Business goes on as usual inside the agency, they say, but they would like to see GSA get out of the media spotlight.That may not happen anytime soon. The Office of Special Counsel is investigating whether the political presentation given at GSA veered into illegal territory. Special Counsel Scott Bloch said political forecasting, which is how some have characterized the presentation, is legal unless an official uses his or her authority to influence or interfere with an election.The office will try to determine if the presentation crossed the line, Bloch said April 27 on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” “Political forecasting is, of course, a pastime and very familiar in Washington, D.C.,” he said. But if any presentation “is slanted in the direction of getting people to either vote for a political party or candidate…then we’re into Hatch Act territory.”





















Doan's political problems escalateLurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, is under increasing pressure from Congress to respond to allegations of political partisanship. In addition, the Office of Special Counsel is investigating whether Doan and others violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees, including political appointees, from engaging in political activity while at work.
Here’s how the pressure is growing:

Jan. 26: White House officials give a political presentation at GSA, after which Doan allegedly asks, “How can we help our candidates?”

March 19: A GSA inspector general report implicates Doan in ethics and procurement violations.

March 28: Doan testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about political presentations at GSA and her actions related to two contracts.

April 18: Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) says in testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee that allegations against Doan could hurt GSA’s funding request in fiscal 2008.

April 23: Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) call on Doan to resign.

April 23: 25 senators send a letter to the White House asking about political presentations at federal agencies.

April 26: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) sends a letter to 27 department and agency leaders seeking information about other political presentations at federal agencies.
— Matthew Weigelt

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.