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With 'Groove Back,' Doan Responds to Critics

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By Daniel Pulliam March 22, 2007

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In a speech at the annual FOSE conference, General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan said that "change is in the air" and that "innovation and new ideas" are everywhere at the agency. Doan said change began 10 months ago. (Doan started her tenure at GSA in June 2006.)

"GSA, in case you've been asleep, is getting its groove back," Doan told the audience.

More from her speech:

Not too long ago, 11 months, the criticism was that GSA had lost touch with our customers, we were complacent, we were timid, we were unwilling or unable to meet our challenges directly. Well not anymore. You told us that it was taking too long to execute simple contracts and we have moved to fix that.

Earlier Thursday, Doan appeared on Federal News Radio and responded to a GovExec article posted Tuesday about top executives leaving the agency. Doan said that she would "argue with the fundamental premise" of the article, saying that the chart, which accompanies the article, shows that the number of departures is "no different than in any year."

Click here to view the chart and judge for yourself: View image

Doan added that the departures are part of "normal turnover when you have new energy and change in an agency."

I think that you'll find that the attrition that they talk about is perhaps the natural attrition that happens in any organization which changes its focus and renews its energy. There is a new energy and a new way that we do things at GSA. And naturally change has changed.

Doan also said that working at GSA is "like eating ice cream" on some days and on other days it is truly challenging.

Doan is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday. The panel's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., plans to question her regarding the allegations of misconduct that have arisen during her tenure as GSA administrator.

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