Denett unanimously confirmed as OFPP head

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has a new administrator after almost a year without one.

The Senate yesterday confirmed Paul Denett by unanimous consent after the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination in late July.

Denett replaces David Safavian, who resigned last September shortly before the FBI arrested him on charges of obstruction of justice. Safavian was convicted of those charges the same day the committee held a hearing on Denett.

Robert Burton had been managing OFPP since Safavian resigned.

During his nomination hearing in late June, Denett promised to make government contracting more transparent and accountable, and said he will promote ways to consolidate the government's buying power.

"His integrity, extensive knowledge of government acquisition and grant management issues, and policy expertise will guide us in providing effective leadership in shaping governmentwide procurement regulations and in developing the acquisition workforce," said Rob Portman, director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a statement.

Among Denett's top challenges will be educating and improving the skill sets of federal procurement executives, and changing what has become a highly critical and contentious environment in Congress.

He likely also will continue OFPP's oversight of governmentwide acquisition contracts and the proliferation of multiple-award contracts. OFPP officials have said they want to strongly consider whether to turn most MACs into GWACs.

He also will be faced with the recommendations from the Acquisition Advisory Panel on how to improve service contracting.

Denett had been vice president of contracting programs at ESI International of Arlington, Va., which provides contract and project management training courses. Before that, he was a senior vice president for program development and government affairs at Star Mountain Inc. of Alexandria, Va.

Prior to joining the private sector, Denett was the director of the Office of Procurement and senior procurement executive at the Treasury Department.

Denett received his bachelor's degree from Nasson College and his master's from George Washington University.

Jason Miller is assistant managing editor of Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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