Rothwell to be Homeland Security procurement chief

Greg Rothwell, deputy chief of agencywide services at the IRS, soon will be named procurement chief of the Homeland Security Department, according to the IRS and other sources.

Greg Doyle, deputy director of procurement for the IRS, said William E. Boswell, the IRS' chief of agencywide shared services, recently announced Rothwell's departure.

A member of the Senior Executive Service, Rothwell is a career civil servant who has held his current job for four years, Doyle said. Before that, he was the IRS' assistant commissioner for procurement. In his current job, Rothwell's responsibilities include overseeing IRS procurement policy.

Rothwell worked to introduce innovative procurement processes at the IRS, said Steve Kelman, Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

For example, Rothwell and Jim Williams, an IRS official now on detail to DHS to direct the U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indication Technology system, worked to develop the blanket purchase agreement process at the IRS.

Kelman said the BPA process, which allows procurement officials to negotiate terms and prices based on volume buying, has saved the government millions of dollars in IT purchases.

'I am very excited about this,' said Kelman, who formerly was director of federal procurement in the Office of Management and the Budget. 'Greg is one of the most respected and best professional contracting people in the federal government.'

In the mid-1990s, Rothwell also worked to reverse a federal policy that barred procurement officials from communicating with vendors after they had started the procurement process. 'Greg turned that around and started a policy of 'full and open communication' at IRS,' Kelman said.

Rothwell and DHS did not respond to requests for comment.

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