was interviewed by Government Product News
in another installment of their series of articles that discuss ways to control and monitor government spending at GSA and other government agencies.
When asked if steps such as imposing a temporary hiring freeze and trimming senior executive performance awards this year by 85 percent help fix GSA's government spending, Howard answered, “They certainly are appropriate responses in light of recent events, and they send another message from GSA’s acting chief that inappropriate spending of public money will no longer be ignored. But these steps, by themselves, cannot cause a sea change in a culture that failed to restrain ‘extravagant’ or ‘irresponsible’ spending in some instances, even though the tools to prevent it were in place.
“GSA needs to renew its focus on enforcing the rules that already exist to control authorizations for expenditures. There already are rules in place— like conflicts of interest and whistleblower statutes— that seek to uncover waste and abuse in public spending and hold our public servants accountable.”
He noted further, “More broadly, there needs to be a more intense commitment to engage individuals or firms, either within government or from the private sector, that truly have the resources and expertise to assess GSA’s organizational structure and culture to determine what organizational impediments exist to the full and fair enforcement of these rules. That kind of critical analysis may identify other changes that are needed to improve individual or group performance and accountability that, in combination with a renewed focus on enforcement, would further assure organizational accountability.”