Though led only by an acting administrator, that’s not stopping the General Services Administration from embracing reorganization efforts called for by the Trump White House. One result on Monday was two sudden high-level resignations.
Tom Sharpe, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service for the last four years, told staff in an email that he would soon leave the agency. Sharpe’s departure was first reported by Federal News Radio.
The move came four days after GSA Acting Administrator Tim Horne announced that the agency’s newly stood-up Technology Transformation Service would be renamed Technology Transformation Services (plural) and would move into the Federal Acquisition Service, and that Alan Thomas, a former Defense Department executive with industry experience, would become the acquisition service’s new commissioner. The position also was designated for a political appointee rather than a career executive.
Sharpe, a former Treasury Department procurement chief veteran who assumed leadership of the FAS in 2013, told staff he will retire from federal service on June 24 and pursue other opportunities. Also leaving GSA is Deputy FAS Commissioner Kevin Youel Page, according to emails obtained by Federal News Radio.
Current Technology Transformation Services Commissioner Rob Cook was named a FAS deputy commissioner and director of the rebranded technology services organization, while Mary Davie will become acting deputy commissioner for the acquisition side, beginning June 24, according to GSA.
Acting GSA Chief Horne, who coordinated the presidential transition, has been busy this spring on substantive changes at GSA. His team defied some ethics critics and approved President Trump’s arrangement to remain the landlord of the Trump International Hotel now in the federally owned Old Post Office Building, which remains controversial as a potential conflict of interest. A slew of vacant positions were filled in mid-May, among them the general counsel slot now occupied by Richard Beckler.
Horne also has worked with the Trump White House to speed up the governmentwide modernization that the Obama administration embarked on with GSA’s 18F and the White House-based U.S. Digital Service.
Thomas, before GSA recruited him, has been Vice President for DoD and Intelligence Community Programs at Data Networks Corp. He previously served in the Office of the Defense Secretary managing a portfolio of research and development programs and worked on a DoD Task Force to Improve Business and Stability Operations in Iraq. A former Presidential Management Fellow and member of the Army staff, he received the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence and the Vice President's Hammer Award for innovation in public service.
Sharpe, during his four years running one of GSA’s major divisions, had collaborated with the Obama White House chief procurement officer to push strategic sourcing and category management.
This story was updated with new information from GSA regarding the FAS acting deputy commissioner for acquisition.