Browsing: Martha Johnson

GSA employee sings about wasting cash at cash-wasting Vegas conference


UPDATED WITH GSA STATEMENT: This may be the last thing the beleaguered General Services Administration needed after its lavish conference-spending scandal. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee just released a prize-winning music video from that conference in which an employee raps about all the cool stuff he’s going to buy when he’s the boss. Which really doesn’t look good in retrospect, considering that infamous Las Vegas conference cost GSA $822,000 and brought down Administrator Martha Johnson and several other top officials. The irony in the video runs a mile deep. After a languid ukelele intro laying out his dream…

Kempf named permanent head of FAS


Steve Kempf, acting commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service since April, has been tabbed by administrator Martha Johnson to take on the post permanently. Jon Jordan, a 36-year GSA veteran, has been named Kempf’s deputy. Here’s the memo that Johnson sent out this morning announcing the move: MEMORANDUM TO ALL GSA EMPLOYEES FROM:   MARTHA N. JOHNSON ADMINISTRATOR SUBJECT:     NEW FAS COMMISSIONER Many of you have heard me speak of this as GSA’s moment. We have set aggressive goals and been challenged to play a leading role in key Administration priorities by the White House. We are on…

Corporate giants with hearts of gold


Corporate Responsibility Magazine released today its list of the top 10 “best corporate citizens” in government contracting. The magazine took the top 100 contractors listed on and applied the same methodology it uses to produce its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. (The necessary information was available only for the 37 publicly traded companies on the list.) Firms are judged on their environmental impact, employee relations, corporate governance, financial responsibility, philanthropy, and human-rights policies. And, drum roll please … the best corporate citizen in government contracting for 2010 is … Hewlett-Packard!!! Well, good for them. Rounding out the top…

OK, we get it, you're going green


So yesterday at the GSA Expo, Administrator Martha Johnson was walking around in a black and white outfit, if I remember correctly. But by the time she arrived at the Coalition for Government Procurement dinner to announce GSA’s new goal of eliminating the government’s carbon footprint (good luck with that, by the way), she had changed into — you guessed it — a green jacket. Johnson’s speech received what sounded like polite applause last night, from a crowd made up mostly of vendor representatives. And CGP president Larry Allen was fairly critical of Johnson today, even after he’d had a…

On the floor at the GSA Expo


Green is the name of the game here at the GSA Expo in Orlando. The training session schedule is rife with the words “green” and “sustainable” and it’s all that any of the GSA folks here can talk about. It seems clear that new administrator Martha Johnson is taking President Obama’s green-government agenda to heart, and that Johnson’s commitment is trickling down to all levels. We’ll see whether government agencies and vendors are willing to get on board. The exhibition floor had its share of environmentally friendly stuff — many booths had green products prominently displayed — according to Federal…

GSA Expo 2010 gets rolling (and rocking)


GSA kicked off its 2010 expo today in sunny — and muggy — Orlando. Today was devoted solely to training sessions as the vendors set up to display their wares and stragglers continue to arrive. This year’s event is well attended, with an estimated 6,000 feds and 3,000 exhibitors, similar to last year’s numbers. Tomorrow the main event, the floor show, opens up and the expo really gets going in earnest. GSA Administrator Martha Johnson officially opened the festivities a little after 4 p.m., saying that this year’s expo and those in future years will focus on sustainability. There are…

White House on fed websites: Keep it simple, stupid


I’m at the General Services Administration’s Government Web and New Media Conference today, listening to administration officials talk about open government, social media, and how to best use technology to reach the public. And one point keeps coming up: When it comes to websites and other programs, keep it simple, stupid. OK, so White House CIO Vivek Kundra and GSA Administrator Martha Johnson didn’t use those words exactly. But their message was clear: The public is increasingly using iPhones and other mobile devices that have trouble with overly-complex webpages. And if the federal government wants to reach citizens through those avenues,…

At GSA, a special kind of telework


The General Services Administration’s new chief was sworn in Sunday night by telephone, an agency spokeswoman told FedLine today. Now that’s what I call teleworking! Acting administrator Stephen Leeds administered the oath to Martha Johnson over the phone  because of the snow that pummeled the D.C. area Friday and Saturday, the spokeswoman said. The storm forced the closure of D.C. federal offices yesterday and today, and in doing so also forced GSA to cancel Johnson’s swearing in ceremony and a town-hall meeting with employees planned for today. GSA rescheduled the ceremony and town hall for next Tuesday.

Obama sounds off on GSA nomination hold


President Obama today sounded off on the hold that’s been placed on Martha Johnson’s nomination to head the General Services Administration, even as the Senate planned a procedural maneuver to force a vote on her confirmation. After addressing the Senate Democratic Policy Committee Issues Conference this morning, the president opened the floor to questions. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voiced his frustration that many of Obama’s judicial nominees and political appointees were being blocked by Republicans. While conceding that Democrats have been guilty of the same thing in the past, Obama said Republicans are blocking nominees for reasons that have nothing to…

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