The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has inched closer to scheduling a confirmation hearing for Terence C. Golden, President Reagan's nominee to head the General Services Administration.
Golden was nominated in March, but the committee has held off scheduling his hearing until a special team of auditors from the General Accounting Office could look into his business partnerships in Texas and his work for the Trammel Crow Corp., the nation's largest commercial real estate development company. Now they've reported back, giving Golden "a clean bill of political health," according to a committee aide. A committee spokesman said Golden's hearing probably will be held by mid-June.
GSA has not had an administrator confirmed by the Senate since Gerald P. Carmen resigned in February 1984. Dwight A. Ink now serves as acting administrator. ANOTHER POLITICAL SLOT FOR GSA? . . .
Both the House and Senate are moving toward giving GSA a third presidential appointee, the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service. The president now nominates only the administrator and the inspector general.
Ink wrote a letter to Sen. Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, four days after the bill moved through the committee. "As a matter of sound public administration," he said, "high-level appointed officials of the agency should be subject to the appointment and removal authority of the administrator." Then, the day after the Senate unanimously passed the bill, Ink wrote Stafford again, contending the bill would create a political problem because a political appointee would be working underneath the deputy administrator, who is a career employe.
Steve Swain, the committee aide who shepherded the bill, said, "Ink's timing was somewhat curious." Ted Ebert, director of the Office of Congressional Affairs, said the letters were sent because GSA was unaware that the bills had already moved. The second letter, he said, was to ensure that certain arguments were put in the record. FAUX PAS? . . .
The inspector general has criticized GSA's Federal Property Resources Service for the way it handled the sale of an old GSA supply depot in Hingham, Mass. But, in this case, there's some egg on the auditors' faces, too, for disclosing some confidential data in the audit.
Last December, a group known as the "58 Trust" put down $25,000 on its $5 million winning bid. When the time came to pay the balance of a $500,000 down payment, the group balked, saying it didn't have the money. For the next 73 days, GSA did nothing.
As a result, the IG's office issued a public report on May 2, charging that the disposal division waited too long before moving to cancel the sale. "It is conceivable that GSA could have 'lost' the government $5 million plus the additional expense of another public auction if the high bidder wasn't given additional time to effectuate suitable financing." The auditors said it appeared GSA officials delayed acting because the $5 million bid was substantially higher than the property's "fair-market-value appraisal," which the audit then cited.
The IG's disclosure of the appraisal upset Earl E. Jones, commissioner of GSA's property resources service. "Somebody needs to come along and audit them," he said.
Daniel J. Peyser, the IG's counsel, acknowledged that the "report was made public through an administrative oversight. It shouldn't have been published with the fair-market-value information." BE SEATED, PLEASE . . .
An unidentified Navy employe, who is 6 feet 6 and weighs about 330 pounds, has just won a year-long fight with the GSA over his office chair. It seems that the $200, government-issue model he was given either bent or broke when he sat on it. So the Navy asked GSA's Furniture Commodity Center if it could requisition, out of a government supply catalog, a sturdy, five-leg, $700 chair like those air traffic controllers use.
GSA denied the request, saying it amounted to "personal furnishing."
The Navy appealed to the GAO, which ruled that the chair could be purchased: "The employe clearly must have a chair and . . . this is not the type of 'personal equipment' it is reasonable to expect the employe to furnish."