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Senate confirms Dan Tangherlini to head GSA

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The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dan Tangherlini to head the General Services Administration by unanimous consent.

President Obama tapped Tangherlini to lead the GSA last year after an inspector general’s report revealed that the agency had spent lavishly on a conference in Las Vegas. Former GSA administrator Martha Johnson resigned in the wake of that controversy.

A separate inspector general’s report released this month showed that senior GSA managers had pressured subordinates to accept sub-par technology contracts prior to Tangherlini’s arrival.

The newly confirmed GSA chief is seen as a change-agent for the agency. Before working for the Obama administration, he served as city administrator for then-D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who had promised to clean up the district’s government.

In 2009, Tangherlini became the Treasury Department’s chief financial officer and assistant secretary for management. During his tenure there, the agency achieved 100 percent compliance with reporting requirements for Recovery Act funding, according to a biography the GSA provided on Friday.

During his nomination hearing last week, Tangherlini said he has conducted a top-to-bottom review of GSA, in addition to trimming its spending on travel, IT and printing by 43 percent compared to the fiscal 2010 baseline.

Tangherlini also said GSA had reduced its bonuses across the board by 64 percent, in addition to ending duplicate programs that would have cost the agency a projected $200 million over the next decade.

GSA, which includes more than 12,500 employees, manages federal properties and facilities. The agency oversees an inventory of more than 370 million square feet of work space and more than 200,000 fleet vehicles, in addition to managing travel for tens of thousands of federal workers and handling supply and service contracts for federal agencies.

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