DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Drabkin to join Northrop

Tuesday - 3/2/2010, 2:00am EST

The DorobekINSIDER told you last week that GSA’s deputy chief acquisition officer David Drabkin will be retiring. In fact, his last day at GSA HQ is today. Well, the DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that Drabkin will join Northrop, where he will start on March 8. We don’t yet now what his job will be.

As we said earlier, Drabkin is one of the most respected people in the government procurement community and has had a distinguished career.

Mr. Drabkin has served GSA for nearly 10 years including a tour on detail to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

He served on the Acquisition Advisory Panel (SARA Panel), Deputy Program Manager, Pentagon Renovation Program, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Process and Policies), Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Reform) (ODUSD(AR)); and the Director, Regulatory Reform and Implementation, ODUSD(AR), where he served as the Project Manager for FASA Implementation.

The question buzzing around the procurement community: Who will replace Drabkin as the acting chief procurement officer. It is an important post given that the Chief Procurement Officer, Michael Robertson, who also serves as the head of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy and the White House liason. Robertson worked for then-Senator Barack Obama as the legislative coordinator and deputy to the chief counsel. In that post, he managed the appropriations process, handled judicial nominations, and conducted political outreach to promote Obama’s legislative priorities. But he has suggested that he is not a government contracting expert — and it is not his forte. Therefore, the deputy chief procurement officer becomes very important.

In the speculation, there are a few names in the mix. If GSA officials decide to hire from within the agency — and that isn’t certain at this point, but if they decide to hire from within GSA, one of the names that is making the speculation rounds is Joseph Neurauter, who served as the chief procurement officer at HUD before rejoining GSA. The other is Al Matera, director of GSA’s Acquisition Policy Division.

There isn’t any official word yet — about an acting deputy nor how GSA plans to move forward. We’ll keep watching it.