VA's Gracey headed for dot-com

VA's Gracey headed for dot-com

MAY 31'Harold F. Gracey Jr., the outgoing chief information officer of the Veterans Affairs Department, said he will join Fedbid.com of Germantown, Md., as vice president for government affairs. Fedbid will start operations in the fall, according to its Web site, and will be a business-to-government marketplace specializing in credit card purchases and online bidding. Today is Gracey's last day of federal service.

At a crowded farewell reception yesterday at VA headquarters, VA Secretary Togo D. West Jr. gave Gracey an award for exceptional service. Gracey's 30 years as a fed include 17 years at VA. Before becoming CIO two years ago, he was chief of staff for five years.

"It is hard to find a true critic of Harold's discharge of duties as chief of staff," West said. "He brought the same diligence and extraordinary competence" to the CIO's post, he said, praising what he termed Gracey's professionalism and fairness.

Gracey cited the special mission of VA, and said, "The worst days here were better than the best days at other places." He joked that he would come to work today to collect all the hugs he's been offered since announcing his retirement.

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