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Guest Vern Edwards

Dan Gordon is leaving OFPP.

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Guest Vern Edwards

The current OFPP administrator is leaving OFPP to become an associate dean at GWU law school. He will have been in the job about two years.

Presidential appointments... Great way to pad resumes, but otherwise a lousy system.

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It's a shame how political the job is. Dan Gordon was in the job for two years following a long period after the previous Administrator left. The job may not be filled now until the next election.

During his tenure, lots of changes were made (you can debate the merits of each but they are his priorities - employee training, reverse auctions, distingushing between personal and non-personal services, "myth-buster" campaign, etc.). We probably won't have any major changes or reactions to new policy for a long time.

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Guest Vern Edwards

During his tenure he put out a lot of memos. I'm not sure how much has really changed. I suspect not much.

The OFPP administrator job is pretty much nothing. Steve Kelman is the only person who really accomplished much. He was very effective, even if you don't like what he did. The position has little if any real authority. Steve used it as a bully pulpit. He was a man of ideas. He reached out, grabbed people by the hair, and shook them until a thought occurred. I haven't seen that in any of the other administrator, before or after. The job is mainly a resume padder. The president waited a long time to nominate someone. Now that person is leaving after only two years and, as you say, the position will likely go unfilled, except with an acting, until 2013. I doubt we'll suffer much as a result.

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Vern - I am curious as to your opinion of Dan Gordon's "Mythbusters" campaign. I was at the Coalition For Government Procurement's conference last week, and the entire theme of the conference was Mythbusters, and included Mr. Gordon speaking on the topic. I found the conversations interesting, but still have concerns.

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The current OFPP administrator is leaving OFPP to become an associate dean at GWU law school. He will have been in the job about two years.

Presidential appointments... Great way to pad resumes, but otherwise a lousy system.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Congress would change this position so that the person would be able to serve longer than the Administration that they are appointed. I am thinking along the lines of the Permanent Director of the FBI (who serves for 10 Years) or the Comptroller General (also serves for 10 years). This may attract an individual with the attributes of a Dan Gordon but with the extra time to actually implement the ideas developed and not see them changed in 2 or 3 years.

It also strikes me how elected officals want the Federal Government to work like a business. What successful business changes its leadership every one to two years???

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Guest Vern Edwards
Vern - I am curious as to your opinion of Dan Gordon's "Mythbusters" campaign. I was at the Coalition For Government Procurement's conference last week, and the entire theme of the conference was Mythbusters, and included Mr. Gordon speaking on the topic. I found the conversations interesting, but still have concerns.

I must admit that I consider such things to be gimmicks and I tend to ignore them. I was terribly irritated by the first mythbuster memo, about communications with contractors, because fears about communications are not based on myth but on the fact that contracting people have long known that talking can get you into trouble. The memo did not acknowledge that reality, and especially did not acknowledge GAO's culpability, what with its confusing clarifications vs. discussions "case law" developed over the course of fifty years of bid protests. Bottom line: mythbusters will have little if any effect on day-to-day operations.

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During his tenure he put out a lot of memos. I'm not sure how much has really changed. I suspect not much.

The OFPP administrator job is pretty much nothing. Steve Kelman is the only person who really accomplished much. He was very effective, even if you don't like what he did. The position has little if any real authority. Steve used it as a bully pulpit, but he was a man of ideas. He reached out, grabbed people by the hair, and shook them until a thought occurred. I haven't seen that in any of the other administrators, before or after. The job is mainly a resume padder. The president waited a long time to nominate someone. Now that person is leaving after only two years and, as you say, the position will likely go unfilled, except with an acting, until 2013. I doubt we'll suffer much as a result.

Steve Kelman is great! He has visited my office a number of times and offered words of wisdom and gave his opinion on a number of issues. I think his visits were arranged through our internbal FedBid team...guess he sits on their Board.

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