Senators invoke GSA scandal during procurement nominee’s hearing

Nominee for OFPP Administrator, Joseph Jordan Nominee for OFPP Administrator, Joseph Jordan Timothy White, OPM

President Obama’s nominee to be administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy testified on Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, whose leaders invoked the recent spending scandal at the General Services Administration as reason for action against waste.

“With more than $500 billion going to federal contracts every year -- about one out of every $6 spent by the government -- it is imperative that our acquisitions produce the best possible results and value for the American people,” said Jordan, who currently is a senior adviser at the Office of Management and Budget.

Nominee Joseph Jordan’s three themes for improving federal procurement were buying smarter, building the right supplier relationships and strengthening the acquisition workforce.

He promised to “work closely with agency chief acquisition officers and senior procurement executives and our federal training institutions to identify training needs and facilitate cost-effective pooling of resources to meet the needs of all agency personnel who play a role in the acquisition process. This includes not just our essential contract specialists, but also contracting officer’s representatives, who are responsible for contract management, and program and project managers, who are instrumental in acquisition planning and the development of contract requirements,” he said. “I will also continue OFPP’s proud tradition of convening the Front-Line Forum, where contracting officers from around government meet with the administrator to share their real-time on-the-ground perspective.”

Jordan would replace Dan Gordon, who left the post in December 2011 for a slot as a dean at The George Washington University Law School. The job is being filled on an acting basis by Lesley Field.

The committee did not vote on Jordan’s nomination, but is expected to do so at its next meeting later in May.

OFPP “needs to double down on its oversight of contract spending to make sure we don’t purchase goods or services we don’t really need and to ensure that we get the most for the taxpayer money we do spend,” said panel Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. “Fiscal discipline is good policy no matter the dollar amount, but in a weak economy when we are looking to significantly reduce the deficit . . . discipline is a must.”

Ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Jordan’s nomination comes at a critical time. “The flouting of acquisition rules by the General Services Administration in connection with a lavish 2010 conference underscores the importance of adherence to these rules as protection against the waste of taxpayer dollars,” she said. “Ultimately, however, it is OFPP that has the obligation to ensure -- across the government -- that the federal acquisition system promotes economy, efficiency and effectiveness in order to deliver the best value to taxpayers.”

Jordan was the associate administrator for government contracting and business development at the Small Business Administration from 2009 to 2011, and before that he worked at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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