Wikipedia users burnish GSA administrator's image

Contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia like "Chiphi5" have made the page about embattled General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan a notably positive one. Chiphi5 is among a group of anonymous users who have, for now, tried to polish Doan's image in the publication that anyone can edit.

Doan drew attention last spring when a special counsel determined that she broke a law against using federal resources for partisan politics. But readers won't learn about that from Wikipedia.

Doan's entry describes a meeting where a White House political aide briefed GSA appointees on electoral plans but does not quote the statement in which investigators say Doan broke the law. "How can we help our candidates?" she asked, according to witnesses at the meeting.

The entry also does not mention a scathing report about Doan by Special Counsel Scott Bloch or the report's conclusion, but it cites criticism of separate work by Bloch.

The profile further includes accusations that Doan tried to give a no-bid contract to a friend and improperly intervened in a software contract but quotes extensively from a GOP staff report that questioned the charges.

In 18 edits made since September, Chiphi5 added various quotes from the report and from an editorial defending Doan. This was added Sept. 12: "Massive expenditure of committee resources throughout this inquiry ... has failed to establish that the administrator ... engaged in any form of misconduct."

Deleted Nov. 6 was a sentence on Doan's contributions to GOP campaigns.

And citing a GSA news release, the biography says Doan's private-sector experience helped her cut federal travel costs by $3.6 billion, but it does not say the savings came through a government airfare program in place before she joined GSA.

Asked if Doan or her employees edited the Wikipedia page, a GSA spokeswoman would not comment.

Whoever touched up the page may have more work ahead. Under the heading "Biased and Inaccurate," a number of users have suggested revisions. Citing the $3.6 billion claim, one wrote, "I'm sure this is not the only flattering half-truth in the article."

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