Today, Dan Gordon, the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, announced that later this year he will be leaving the post to serve as Associate Dean for Government Contracts Law at the George Washington University Law School.
President Obama appointed Dan Gordon as the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in 2009 in order to turn around the explosive contracting growth of the last decade and re-instill accountability, drive fiscal responsibility, strengthen the acquisition workforce, cut out waste and rebalance the relationship between the federal government and the contractors that support our agencies. In Dan, he selected someone with decades of experience working with the federal procurement system, in private practice and at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. When Dan began at the White House, he brought with him a commitment to openness and integrity, combined with a strong sense of what we needed to do to improve the federal acquisition system, after too many years of neglect.
Two years after his arrival, we can all see the changes that Dan has helped bring about. On Dan’s watch, spending on federal contracting decreased for the first time in more than a dozen years, coming in $80 billion less than it would have had contract spending continued to grow at the same rate as it did under the previous Administration. As part of the White House Campaign to Cut Waste, Dan has worked with the General Services Administration, buying agencies, and industry, to reform the way the government buys commodities, from office supplies to printing services, so that we are – finally – leveraging the federal government’s purchasing power as the world’s largest customer to deliver a better value for the American taxpayers. Dan has also helped unleash the talent and ingenuity of the federal workforce, so that innovative buying methods, such as electronic reverse auctions, are encouraged and adopted across the government. Throughout, Dan has demonstrated a commitment to listening to the concerns of all stakeholders, launching a 'Myth-Busters' campaign to promote more open communication between the government and industry to deliver better outcomes for the American people, and developing a pathbreaking policy letter that clarifies the line between work that can be contracted out and work that is inherently governmental. Throughout his tenure, Dan has helped agencies focus on strengthening their acquisition workforce, especially by providing training, and driving the Administration’s commitment to tightening oversight of contractors, whether through a reinvigorated suspension and debarment process to deal with the ‘bad actors’ whose misdeeds no longer go unpunished, or focusing on the contract management role of contracting officers’ representatives, who help ensure that contractors deliver what they have promised, on time and on budget.
I want to congratulate Dan on his move to GW later this year where as Dean Gordon he will continue to use his expertise in the world of federal procurement. We will continue to build on his important work to make sure our procurement system delivers for the American taxpayers, so that the progress he has helped bring about will continue to be felt well beyond his departure from Federal service.
Jack Lew is Director of the Office of Management and Budget