Getting Along

The dispute between the GSA Chief Lurita Doan and GSA Inspector General Brian Miller continues to simmer like a fine sauce.

You will recall that Doan complained two years ago that Miller was not going along with streamlining efforts at the agency, while Milller accused her of trying to crimp his ability to oversee contracts and GSA operations. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who pays close attention to oversight and IG operations, chided them both.

The dispute received some fuel last year, when the then-counsel Miller's office, Kevin Buford, accused Miller and his acting deputy at the time of violating personnel rules and retaliating against subordinates who complained. An Oct. 5 letter to the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency asked for an investigation of Miller and his former deputy, Robert Samuels. Just over a week later, other lawyers in the IG office joined in to complain.

Naturally, that perked up Doan's ears. She took note of the complaints in communication with Grassley.

Now comes the latest exchange of letters between Doan and Grassley. Last month, Doan wrote to Grassley to raise concerns about the lawyers' complaints. Grassley's response, on April 15: Don't worry about it.

"These complaints have been reviewed and analyzed by the appropriate authorities. They have determined that the GSA-OIG did not violate any rules, regulations, or laws," Grassley wrote to Doan."

The essence of the letter: Can't we all just get along?

"It is my sincere hope this letter will put this issue to rest so that you and the GSA-OIG can set aside any differences on this matter and work together to better serve American taxpayers," Grassley wrote.

Here's a link to a related Robert Brodsky piece in Government Executive Magazine. It has this memorable top:

"Give General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan credit for this much -- she's not afraid of making new, and powerful, adversaries."

"First, it was Brian Miller, GSA's inspector general, with whom she has feuded virtually since the day she took office. Then Doan drew the wrath of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., when they alleged she improperly meddled in GSA contract negotiations."

"The most recent object of Doan's ire is Kenneth Kaiser, chairman of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency's Integrity Committee, and assistant director of the FBI's criminal division. In her second letter to Kaiser in less than two months, Doan again railed at him over his January dismissal of several whistleblower allegations, calling Kaiser's explanation 'absurd' and 'particularly offensive to all of the people over the past several months that have demonstrated personal courage in bringing these allegations to your attention.'"

And here's an earlier Government Inc. post on the matter. It's all about public servants working for the taxpayers.

By Robert O'Harrow |  April 22, 2008; 9:17 AM ET GSA
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Another very well-dressed link to a other site that everyone who would read a procurement blog would likely have checked days ago. Bravo.

Posted by: Hector | April 22, 2008 4:27 PM

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