Acting GSA chief says relationship with inspector general is on the mend

The General Services Administration's acting administrator said on Wednesday that he has met twice with GSA Inspector General Brian Miller, and that the two are working to improve relations between the agency's program offices and the IG's office.

At a Coalition for Government Procurement conference in McLean, Va., David Bibb said his early meetings with Miller went well, and that they "both intend to build on that solid beginning."

Differences of opinion between the agency and its inspector general are inevitable, Bibb said. "We need to get past the constant sense of tension between the operating programs and the IG. They have a role, we have a role, and as long as our opinions on running the programs are heard -- and I think they will be -- we're going to have a good relationship." Former GSA Administrator Lurita A. Doan has said that her prolonged public feud with Miller was a primary reason for her ouster in April.

Procurement observers from agencies, industry and Congress predicted that inspectors general, Congress and the White House would become more involved in contracting issues during the next year -- regardless of who occupies the Oval Office.

John Horan, a partner at Washington law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, said the success that IGs have experienced in many of their recent investigations likely will empower them to more aggressively pursue, and possibly even expand, their oversight roles.

"There's nothing like success to drive investigators, and they've had success in what I consider the more traditional area of effective [contract] pricing … and have also been successful in some of the less traditional compliance areas, such as the [1979] Trade Agreements Act," he said.

Horan said IGs could increase interagency coordination for certain probes. Regulatory changes also will expand inspectors' roles by requiring them to handle mandatory disclosures by contractors of criminal violations and overpayments.

Congressional oversight of contracting has been high-profile this election year, and observers do not expect the heat to let up, even after a change in administration.

"I'll predict further that no matter which presidential candidate wins in November, they are likely to be more involved [than his or her predecessor] in procurement issues," said Kingston Smith, minority counsel for the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. Smith believes concerns about cost and budget, as well as the new president's policy positions, will drive the increase in oversight.

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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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