Jay Solomon, administrator of the General Services Administration, said yesterday that he is committed to seeing investigations of GSA continue until all acts of corruptions have been exposed and all guilty persons prosecuted.
Then, Solomon told a luncheon audience at the Washington Press Club, he would like to see his agency return to the principles and ideals under which it was created three decades ago.
"GSA needs to renew the fervor and spirit of the Hoover Commission, which was responsible for the creation of the agency in 1949," Solomon said, although the commission's findings are still valid, Solomon said "the spirit" of GSA has been lost and "the concept became diluted."
So far, 22 GSA employes and contractors have been indicted or charged criminally for their alleged roles in bribery and fraud schemes costing the government millions of dollars. All but two have pleaded guilty.
"It's hard for me to imagine all this going on without . . . other people (in GSA) knowing about it," Solomon said. He was apparently referring to higher level GSA officials.
Solomon said he has urged President Carter to elevate GSA to a cabinet-level agency and give it broader powers.
"The agency needs to sit at the table with the cabinet-level agencies it must deal with on a constant basis," he said.
"We are nearing the point where we can draw the curtain on the sorry saga of past mistakes and fraudulent acts at GSA," said Solomon, "All of our major chases have now been turned over to the Department of Justice strike force. Grand juries are sitting in cities around the country and indictments are coming down."
Solomon said GSA corruption cases are before grand juries in Boston, Baltimore, the District of Columbia, Oklahoma City and the Southern District of New York State.Additional indictments are expected soon in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and California, he said.
"In the 1940s, the Hoover Commission found that fragmented purchasing policies were costing the government millions," Solomon said in his speech. "It recommended centralized procurement for the federal government.
"Today, I find fragmented purchasing within GSA - and have moved to centralize acquisition policy and procurement in the agency."
Solomon said that the Hoover Commission, following a "single agency" concept, intended for GSA to construct, operate and maintain all federal buildings.But during 1977, Solomon said, GSA controlled only 6 percent of total federal construction.
Federal purchases of supplies are also supposed to be centralized under GSA auspices, Solomon said. But of the $73 billion annual federal procurement budget, Solomon said that GSA is, currently responsible for only 13 billion worth.
Of 340,000 vehicles in the federally owned motor fleet, GSA controls only 83,000 Solomon added.
"Some mornings I wake up and the first thing I see on the front page of the newspaper is more about GSA," said Solomon. "I want to say, 'Let me out of here. I want to go back to Tennessee. I want to leave all of this behind.'"
But one develops a kindof commitment and decides to see it through," he added.