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Sep 19, 2005


This is an excerpt from a GovExec article. It shows Tom Davis and David Safavian "collaborating" to drail a Telecom contract at Treasury called the TCE:
March 2005
. . . Several bidders protested the TCE award on the grounds that Treasury officials had agreed to consider using Networx when TCE's first three-year base period expired, in 2008. That agreement was documented in a memorandum of understanding signed by officials at Treasury, GSA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Last week, the Government Accountability Office sustained the protests, deciding that the memorandum materially altered the basis of the TCE award.

Before the TCE protests, Davis had said he favored a central buying approach for telecom. But according to legal briefs filed by the protesters after GAO held hearings, redacted copies of which were obtained by Government Executive, Davis and his staff were key players in negotiations between Treasury and GSA before TCE's award.

The critical element of those negotiations, the memorandum of understanding, was "negotiated with the active oversight and interest of the House Government Reform Committee and its chairman, Congressman Davis," attorneys for Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. stated in their brief, citing testimony by officials during the protest hearing.

"Pressure brought to bear by Rep. Davis' committee persisted throughout the negotiation of the MOU," Northrop's lawyers said. They cited testimony by an official, whose name was redacted, that Davis "threatened to terminate funding for the TCE contract."

Several companies' lawyers asserted that, on more than one occasion, Davis' office requested that Ira Hobbs, the Treasury Department chief information officer, attend meetings with senior GSA managers and David Safavian, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, about TCE. Safavian also favors centralized buying of telecom services.

"So concerned was Treasury with respect to the impact of any possible dissatisfaction on the part of [GSA], OMB, or the House Government Reform Committee, that it agreed that award of the TCE contract would be held in abeyance, pending execution of the MOU and the provision of a copy of that agreement to Congressman Davis," Northrop's lawyers said.

"Chairman Davis did not craft the MOU," Crockett said. But he acknowledged the congressman was "informed by participants about the efforts to draft one. On some occasions we were asked for our opinion - they're free to ask and we're free to give it - but that's not the same as actively crafting the MOU. Everyone involved was aware of Chairman Davis' objections" to Treasury's plans, Crockett said.

The companies' briefs also shed new light on the circumstances that led to the memorandum's creation. A redacted version of GAO's decision sustaining the TCE protests said some Treasury officials saw it as a way to "appease GSA to get on with" the award.

"What the parties learned during the hearing, however, was that the MOU's very existence was the result of a lack of trust of the Treasury Department by OMB, GSA and Congressman Tom Davis," said attorneys for Level 3 Communications LLC. Throughout other briefs, there were references to official testimony that the parties involved wanted a firm commitment from Treasury that it would consider using Networx.

In September 2004, for instance, Hobbs met with Safavian and told him that when the TCE base period expired, that would "be a good time for us to look at and consider whatever it is that GSA has on the table." Safavian replied, "We think we can live with that, but we want something in writing." GSA and Treasury officials then began crafting the memorandum.

OFPP and Treasury officials had no comment on Davis' remarks or information in the documents.

Gary Norton

As I understand, cronyism isn't a crime. Also as I have seen cronyism in action in the Government, it leads to a sense of invincibility where by the small crimes are seen as petty and regulations a nuisance.

For those who think this is a matter of innocence or guilt, here is what "MY" EMPLOYMENT FOLDER says:


Any Person In government Service Should:

Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.

Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations fo the United states and all governments therein and never be a party to evasion.


Never discriminate unfaily by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept, for himself or his family, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his duties.


Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his governmental duties.

Never use any information coming to him confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means for making private profit.


Uphold these principles, ever conscious that the public office is a public trust.



I agree with the Insider. Turn the page already.

CT Smith

This again shows how far special interests, favors and corruption have gone in this administration by putting completely unqualified people in high level posts. (or no one wants to have their career tarnished like Colin Powell and work for them except their cronies) Mike Brown and Safavian are 2 hacks with no experience and were always hangers on. Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University is a third rate law school that any idiot with a 2.2 GPA BA can get into...It's most famous alumni is Jeffrey Fieger that shows the kind of education this guy got. Coming from a Lobby shop to head the GSA and OMB oversight now there is a great idea. This administration is by far and away the most inept group of people I have ever seen put together to lead anything let alone a country. I wouldn't want them developing strategy on my 5 year olds tee ball team. If you look back at these people careers right down the list from the president on down it is a bunch of people who have really undisginuished careers, from poor education, to business failures, to everything else, so none of this is suprising at all


Say what you want about the guilt/innocence of Safavian, it is becomming clear that cronyism is rampant in this administation, as I'm sure it has been in past administrations, but it seems pretty severe now. Brownie is just one example that I think is agreed across the board. It seems Safavian was also not qualified for his job. Now the daughter of Richard Myers who by chance is married to Chertoff's chief of staff is up to lead Customs and Immigration (a part of DHS that Chertoff runs). She's a 36 year old lawyer with no customs or immigration experience and little management experience. And this is being done right after the Brownie was exposured as not being qualified. Say what you want about Safavian, the problem is much bigger.


Rather than dancing with glee, could we please have a little POGO analysis on the impact of Safavian's departure, e.g., on the already-stalled competitive sourcing initiative, on procurement reform, including what may come out of the England and SARA panels? You can do it. I know you can do it. As valuable as POGO is, you lose something when you engage in gleeful finger-in-eye restrospectives, rather than report and analyze. Looking forward to your substantive opinions....


Giving the benefiet of the doubt about whether the Bush administration is corrupt, it is clear that Safavian has plenty of other experience working for governments that no rational person would defend as honest in the court of public opinion.

The Department of Justice website, pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), indicates that as a Lobbyist for Janus-Merritt Partners (also Preston Gates & Ellis), Safavian worked for indisputably corrupt nations including Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Bangladesh, and our coalition partner Pakistan. See further -

Bangladesh www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/fara2nd99/REGS/05326.HTM

Congo Brazzaville, Gabon


Please indulge me a preemptive apology if this blog post doesn't conform to proper civil procedure. I thought for a second there that the 1st amendment applied. If that's cool with you.

Oh, and by the way, it was the FBI, not POGO, that "jumped to conclusions" on this one. Quite honestly, I don't think any FBI agent who valued their financial stability would lay hands on Abramoff, Safavian, or anyone other citizen unless they had compelling evidence and the approval of a superior. But I'm willing to concede the point since you have undoubtedly spoken with Mr. Safavian for his side of the story.

And another thing, your trite "court of public opinion" comment is easily smothered by a far more conservative adage that, unlike your dittohead jargon, has withstood the test of time. A man is known by the company he keeps.

But I digress.

I notice you liberals link to Raw Story? So much for using reputable information to cite you rants. I'm surprised you don't link to the Nation or MoveOn.org.

Wow do you respond to all posts so quickly? Impressive. Although you must have no life. Did you ever think that Safavian might not have known that the lobbyst had business before the GSA? There are a lot of possibilities that could reasonably explain these allegations. But, if this man is found innocent you have already convicted him in the court of public opinion.

Nick Schwellenbach

Hey Anon,

I don't think it's a conspiracy theory to say that "Safavian and Abramoff have numerous ties" when they obviously do, which we point out. It's another thing to jump to conclusions about what those ties mean and result in. However, if you'd check the AP story out, you'll see that it's not so crazy to think that Abramoff sought to take advantage of a friend's position inside the government.

Here's a snippet:

...FBI agent Jeffrey A. Reising said in [an FBI] affidavit, a lobbyist -- identified separately as Abramoff -- had enlisted Safavian's help in trying to gain control of 40 acres of land at the Federal Research Center at White Oak in Silver Spring, Md., for a private high school that Abramoff helped establish and supported.

For his part, Safavian edited a letter the lobbyist was preparing to send to GSA, and arranged and attended a meeting involving a GSA official, the lobbyist's wife and others to discuss leasing the property, the affidavit said.

Abramoff told his wife to use her maiden name at the meeting because Safavian sought to play down Abramoff's involvement, the affidavit said, citing an e-mail from Abramoff.

Safavian was given clearance to go on the August 2002 golf trip after telling GSA's ethics officer that the lobbyist ''has no business before GSA,'' the affidavit said.

-Nick Schwellenbach
Project On Government Oversight

That's the problem with you liberal groups. You immediately want to jump to conclusions and spread conspiracy theories. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Why is networking with your college room mate so evil? Have you talked to Safavian to his his side of this? You probably never had friends that ever amounted to anything so you need to go around slandering others to make yourself feel important. Hope you pleased with yourself and feel self-righteous.

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