'Tis the season for change, change, change

james Williams will leave the Homeland Security Department where he is program director of the $1.1 billion U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology project.

Rick Steele

Could it be the fresh spring air? Whatever the impetus, agencies' HR action has picked up big time with top appointments right and left.

Lurita Doan was confirmed as the new administrator the General Services Administration.

"I know GSA has its challenges," she said, vowing to work quickly and take on several initiatives to improve not only how the agency interacts with its federal customers, but with industry as well.

One immediate change at GSA will be appointment of a commissioner of the new Federal Acquisition Service: James Williams. Williams will leave the Homeland Security Department where he is program director of the $1.1 billion U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology project.

Former Rep. Robert Portman was confirmed as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget. Portman, a six-term Republican former representative from Ohio, left Congress in 2005 when Bush named him trade representative.

Federal Acquisition Service acting commissioner G. Martin Wagner likely will return to his position as associate administrator of GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy. Robert Mocny, deputy director of U.S. Visit, likely will take over as that program's director.

At DHS, Scott Charbo has been promoted to acting undersecretary for management, but he also will continue to hold his CIO job. The promotion, in effect, makes Charbo the highest-ranking DHS technology leader. He succeeds Janet Hale, who in late March announced her plans to resign.

The Senate also confirmed three senior DHS nominees. Just in time for the first named tropical storm of the 2006 season, R. David Paulison was confirmed as undersecretary for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. David Norquist got the official nod as DHS' chief finance officer. Norquist formerly was deputy undersecretary of Defense for budget and appropriations affairs.

And W. Ralph Basham's nomination as commissioner for Customs and Border Protection is official. Basham, a 29-year Secret Service veteran, was chief of staff of the Transportation Security Administration. He succeeds former CBP commissioner Robert Bonner, who announced his plans to resign in September 2005.

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