Howard R. Davia, a long-time whistle blower at the General Services Administration, said he will retire from government service at the end of March after more than 31 years. In 1981, the Reagan administration resurrected Davia from the low-level job to which he was assigned after criticizing the GSA's procurement procedures in 1979. He was appointed regional administrator in Chicago.
In an interview, Davia said the GSA has "been slowly deteriorating . . . becoming increasingly buried in a political morass." He said he feels that former GSA Administrator Gerald P. Carmen sent him to Chicago to get him away from the national media and not for more responsibility as Carmen contended.
"I'm tired of complaining," he said. "I've found out so much about waste and fraud that the Republicans were afraid of me. They wanted to neutralize me." Davia said he plans to teach a college-level government or financial-management course. He will be replaced, temporarily at least, by his deputy, Dennis Keilman.
In a 1980 campaign speech, Ronald Reagan said that, if elected president, he was going "to put the corruption fighters back in charge at GSA" -- a reference to Davia; William A. Clinkscales Jr., then chief investigator in the inspector general's office, and Bertrand G. Berube, a procurement expert.
With Davia's retirement, only Clinkscales remains at the agency. Berube was fired by Carmen in 1983 and has lost his appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Clinkscales now serves as associate administrator for policy and management systems.