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Shows & Panels
Shakeup at GSA
On Monday, April 2, 2012, General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson stepped down from her post after firing Bob Peck, the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, and GSA adviser Stephen Leeds. The shakeup in the administration came on the heels of an inspector general report that detailed excessive spending by the agency at a conference in 2010. Read Federal News Radio's full coverage of the Shakeup at GSA.
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Former GSA Region 7 Public Buildings Service Commissioner James Weller has been put on paid administrative leave during an appeal by the agency, which could take as much as a year.
James Weller won his wrongful termination case before the Merit Systems Protection Board against GSA. The board ruled Weller deserves 19 months of back pay and to be put back in his former job as Region 7 PBS commissioner.
President Barack Obama will nominate Dan Tangherlini, the acting administrator of the General Services Administration, to officially fill that position. Tangherlini stepped into that post amid the April 2012 conference spending scandal at the agency.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and the GSA inspector general released separate, but related, reports that show GSA abused its authority to give Senior Executive Service (SES) members bonuses between 2009 and 2011. GSA official said they have since fixed these problems. McCaskill also found that on average the Labor Department, the Navy and the National Science Foundation handed out more than one bonus per SES employee.
The agency also puts former Region 8 Commissioner of the Public Building Service on administrative leave until the MSPB Board makes a decision on the appeal.
Paul Prouty, the former GSA Region 8 commissioner, won his appeal of the agency's decision to fire him in the wake of the Western Regions Conference scandal last April. The Merit Systems Protection Board's administrative judge found "no evidence" of wrongdoing by Prouty.
In a memo to employees, the acting administrator signals he's in for the long term by outlining six areas to focus on in 2013 and beyond.
No more motivational speakers, musicians or promotional swag. The Defense Department is banning entertainment-related expenses at its conferences, according to a new memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management approved the Public Buildings Reform Act. It includes reducing GSA's Public Buildings Service workforce to 2008 levels and freezing SES bonuses through 2014 across the entire agency.
Steve Kempf will return after his medical leave as a senior adviser. GSA posted the commissioner's job on USAJobs.gov on Monday.
The acting administrator of GSA said he met with IG Brian Miller and David Shea after accusations the IG investigator's tactics were overly aggressive in looking into the recent SmartPay Conference. Tangherlini also expects to receive suggestions on how the CIO reorganization would work, and how to go forward with the reduction of FAS fees in the coming weeks.
Senate lawmakers and the agency's Inspector General say the strategy to reorganize the General Services Administration and make it more accountable is on the right track. Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said he will consolidate IT and HR across the agency, and reduce contracting fees charged by the Federal Acquisition Service.
Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini will tell Senate lawmakers today about his plans to continue reforming the agency in the aftermath of the Western Regions Conference scandal. Along with consolidating CIO and human resources offices, Tangherlini wants the Federal Acquisition Service to reduce its fees. Federal News Radio has obtained an exclusive copy of Tangherlini's testimony.
In a routine pre-hearing briefing call, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff members asked Brian Miller about his staff's decision to knock on a GSA employee's door after 11 p.m. at the SmartPay conference last month. Miller and acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini are scheduled to testify Sept. 12 before the committee on changes the agency has made in light of the conference spending scandals.
If you move a few letters around the initials of the General Services Administration, you get G- A-S, as in explosive, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Just when you thought GSA couldn't get in any deeper there's another explosion.
Dorothy Robyn, who for the last three years has overseen the Defense Department's military facilities and buildings, has been named to head the General Services Administration's embattled Public Buildings Service.
The General Services Administration's inspector general investigated the agency's recent SmartPay Training Conference and found no wrongdoing or elaborate spending. But the approach taken by the GSA inspector has left some at the agency uneasy. According to a draft memo obtained by Federal News Radio, tactics used by the investigator included a late night awakening and interrogation of the GSA executive in charge of the conference.
The General Services Administration projects it will save $11 million from April to September from reforms to employee travel and agency conferences. Since April, GSA canceled 47 conferences.
Bob Peck, who was fired in April after an inspector general's report revealed excessive spending at a GSA conference, was hired by the Gensler consulting group to lead its D.C.-based office.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is probing more than 150 conferences hosted by 11 agencies since 2005 where wasteful spending or excessive spending may have have occurred, according to a committee release. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the oversight chairman, said the committee is using the lavish $823,000 regional conference hosted by the General Services Administration in 2010 as a "benchmark" to compare other agencies' conference spending. The committee found the Defense Department has held 64 such conferences.