GSA chief nominee faces daunting road

Lurita Doan is President Bush's nominee to be administrator of the General Services Administration, according to government and industry officials.

Rick Steele

Restoring morale and winning back customers should top the list of priorities for Lurita Doan, President Bush's nominee to be administrator of the General Services Administration, according to government and industry officials.

Doan still needs Senate confirmation, but her nomination has been greeted with relief and optimism.

"Things had been in such gridlock there. They couldn't move on the reorganization or fill some of their vacancies because they needed a political appointee," said Olga Grkavac, executive vice president of the enterprise solutions division of Information Technology Association of America, an industry trade group in Arlington, Va.

The agency recently has won approval from Congress to reorganize and combine the Federal Technology and Federal Supply services. GSA also has lost customers in recent years as internal reports found contracting and spending irregularities.

Doan has little government experience, but started and ran New Technology Management Inc. of Reston, Va., which grew into a $200 million a year business. She sold the company in 2005. Being an outsider may have its advantages in turning GSA around, officials said.

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