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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

GSA administrator faces many challenges

The General Services Administration has seen ups and downs in recent years.

The rush of war spending led to some questionable uses of government contracts, such as hiring interrogators under a services schedule. The agency also ran into problems awarding the Alliant contract. And there is the ongoing battle with several manufacturers on their pricing policies.

But as one GSA official told me, despite any problems, if GSA were a business, it would still be delivering profits and growth year over year. But as a government agency, politics and policy are often the measures of success.

The appointment of Martha Johnson has been universally praised. As an official told me, the agency needs some adult supervision and Johnson is the type of leader who can give it. Her experience and knowledge of GSA are seen as definite pluses. She is coming in with a lot of good will.

So my question is what should her top priorities be? If you could send her a white paper or sit down one-on-one, what would you urge her to focus during her tenure at GSA?

You can comment here or send me an e-mail directly – nwakeman@1105govinfo.com. We’ll use the best and most insightful comments in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 28, 2009 at 7:22 PM


Reader Comments

Thu, May 7, 2009 M

With his recent "shot across the bow" on Alliant, it is clear Martha Johnson's biggest challange will be an activist and destructive IG. GSA is being held to a standard that no one else in acquisition. Yet they must compete for business with many other budgeted acqusition organizations who care nothing about the basics such as scope. By the way, can 1105 stop blaming GSA for the contracting officer who hired interrogators under the IT Services Schedule. As I recall GSA had nothing to do with that abuse. Yes, Ms Johnson faces some challenges.

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