Key Bush nominees outline management challenges

Lawmakers on Thursday questioned two nominees for senior government operations positions in the Bush administration about performance-based service contracts, outsourcing and other management issues. At a hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Angela Styles, nominee for administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, told committee members that "serious competitive problems" have surfaced with the proliferation of governmentwide contracting vehicles and acquisition services. "The real challenge for OFPP and this administration will be to balance the obvious benefits of increased efficiencies with the maintenance of fundamental concepts of competition, due process, integrity and transparency," said Styles, who is an expert on government contracting and the 1998 Federal Activities and Inventory Reform Act. She previously served as special assistant to the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service at GSA and counsel to the Washington law firm Miller and Chevalier. Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., quizzed Styles about the ability of agencies to meet the goals set in a March 9 memo from Sean O'Keefe, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, which directed agencies to increase their use of performance-based service contracts. "Part of the problem is there is no agreement among agencies over what qualifies as a performance-based service contract," Styles said. Linda Oliver, associate administrator of procurement law, legislation and innovation in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, recently noted that many procurement officials are unclear on how to define performance-based contracts, even though guidelines on such contracts exist. Styles was also critical of governmentwide acquisition contracts, testifying that there was no way to ensure that the government was getting the best deal when it used this approach. "In the long-term we need to look at the use of these contracts," Styles said. Stephen A. Perry, President Bush's nominee for administrator of the General Services Administration, outlined his agenda for the agency, which has a direct impact on how other agencies conduct their business. "Sustaining high performance will be a very big job," said Perry, a former senior vice president for human resources at the Timken Co., an Ohio-based manufacturer of steel alloys. Perry's goals included improving communication between the agency and Congress, developing better working relationships with other agencies and suppliers, addressing human resource management issues and better using the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act. "We will have performance measures and I will be actively taking corrective measures as needed to stay on course," Perry told legislators.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.