I was shocked yesterday when I received a news alert about Martha Johnson’s resignation over excessive spending for a training conference near Las Vegas in 2010. According to news reports, the chief of Public Buildings Service and Johnson’s top adviser were fired, and four managers were suspended.
Anybody who is familiar with the federal government circles has great respect for Mrs Johnson and for what she accomplished during her GSA tenure. From my own perspective, I can just say that every single GSA official I had the privilege to know or just briefly meet showed professionalism, competence and a genuine drive to do what is best for his or her country. It is not a surprised that many people working at GSA have been awarded with the Federal 100 and even the Eagle award (the latter is particularly close to my heart, as it was awarded to my former colleague Dave McClure).
From my corner of the world where top public servants and members of parliament do not step down even when charged with direct responsibility for much greater missteps, I want to reassure all my friends at GSA that Mrs. Johnson’s resignation witnesses how serious she has always been about making GSA a place to be proud of working at.
I am sure that her colleagues in government, members of congress, business leaders will remember her tenure at GSA as a peak point for this agency’s history. Under her watch, GSA has spearheaded some of the most remarkable changes in government IT that I have witnessed in a long time (it is not by chance that I placed GSA at number three of my personal top ten for 2011).
The legacy of her success is here to stay.