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Key senators back Tangherlini nomination to top GSA post

Jun. 18, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said they would vote to confirm Dan Tangherlini as the permanent head of the General Services Administration.
Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said they would vote to confirm Dan Tangherlini as the permanent head of the General Services Administration. (Thomas Brown / Staff)

Two key senators on Tuesday endorsed the nomination of Dan Tangherlini to be permanent head of the General Services Administration.

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said they would vote to confirm the current acting administrator for the post.

Carper said GSA deserves a leader who understands the complexity of the issues facing the agency and who can work with other agencies to save money and increase efficiency in government operations.

“I think they have such a leader now in Dan Tangherlini and that he deserves confirmation by the Senate,” Carper said.

Coburn agreed and said he hopes the Senate will confirm the nomination unanimously.

“I believe you have the capability to turn this around,” he told Tangherlini.

Tangherlini was appointed acting GSA administrator in April 2012 after an inspector general report detailing $823,000 in wasteful spending at a 2010 conference toppled the agency’s leadership and resulted in the firing of more than a dozen employees.

The senators pushed Tangherlini to continue the reforms he has instituted and to study further how GSA can better utilize its federal building portfolio and get agencies better prices on goods and services offered through GSA contracts.

Carper said GSA has had eight different leaders over the last eight years and needs a confirmed administratorto move forward

“One of GSA’s main problems over the last decade has been a lack of stable leadership, which is unfortunately a problem throughout the executive branch,” Carper said.

Tangherlini said as administrator he will continue to work to lower the prices agencies pay by promoting “strategic sourcing “ contracts that allow agencies to buy in bulk. He also said he will review the fees GSA charges agencies for buying through GSA schedules.

He said the agency saved $28 million in travel spending after severely curtailing conference activities, cut bonuses in fiscal 2012 by 64 percent, and is in the process of consolidating administrative services to save $200 million over the next 10 years.

“We have made real progress at a time when the mission of our agency has never been more important,” Tangherlini said.

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