Housing Complex

Head of Feds’ Public Buildings Steps Down

robynDorothy Robyn, who oversees the federal government's buildings as the commissioner of the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Services, will step down in March amid a difficult budget environment, the agency announced this morning.

The GSA's image has certainly improved since the fallout of the revelations of a lavish Las Vegas party in 2010, but the agency has still taken fire from members of Congress for being slow to dispose of unneeded federal properties in a time of budget tightening. The GSA has also felt the effects of that tightening on its own plans; a congressional bill announced this month falls well short of the funding needed to complete the agency's long-intended relocation of the Department of Homeland Security to a new campus at St. Elizabeths near Anacostia.

Under Robyn, the agency has succeeded in turning over a few high-profile properties, including the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Donald Trump will be leasing for $250,000 a month for use as a luxury hotel. Robyn said last year that the GSA's downsizing "came out of a certain desperation."

Robyn came to the GSA in 2012. Her departure, first reported today by the Washington Post, results partly from her frustration with Congress. In an interview with the Post, she cited Congress' resistance to spending money on infrastructure improvements that could bring about long-term savings, as well as accounting policies “that it make it difficult for us to follow best practices in the private sector."

"Since Dorothy joined us, she has worked tirelessly to manage the more than 9,000 assets we hold in trust on behalf of the American people," GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a statement. "Her commitment has not only helped us maintain those facilities but also enabled GSA to increase our capital investments, improve our business practices, and enhance the energy efficiency of our entire portfolio.”

The GSA said in a statement that her replacement will be announced at a later date, but Robyn told the Post she expects to be succeeded by Norman Dong, currently the acting controller of the Office of Management and Budget.

Photo from gsa.gov

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