Chief adminstrative officer resigns after unfavorable report

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accepted the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dan Beard on Thursday and Republicans applauded the change in leadership.

Beard’s resignation comes in the wake of an unfavorable Inspector General report this week on the House’s Office of Payroll & Benefits and Office of Financial Counseling, under the CAO’s control. The report cited a high degree of anxiety there, negative staff morale, and an overall perception by House customers that problems exist within the CAO.

Beard was in charge of maintaining the House’s technological infrastructure, the payroll, emergency contingency operations and Pelosi’s House greening program.

“It is with gratitude that we recognize Dan’s contributions to the House: spearheading the ‘Green the Capitol’ initiative and leading the development of online transparency efforts on Member expenses, among other achievements,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As we go forward, we will continue to ensure the House of Representatives is run smoothly and efficiently, maintaining our commitment to transparency, energy conservation and accountability.”

The House Administration Committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Dan Lungren (Calif.), applauded Beard’s decision to step down, saying it would offer the House a chance to change the direction of the CAO’s position.

“I fully understand and strongly agree with Mr. Beard’s decision to resign,” said Lungren. “I stand ready to work with Chairman Brady to return the office of the CAO back to its primary mission, which is assisting Members so that they can best serve their constituents.”

Pelosi pledged a smooth transition. It was unclear on Thursday evening how a new successor would be selected. The CAO has previously been chosen by a bipartisan panel. But Pelosi appointed Beard herself in 2007, with little input from Republicans.

The Administration Committee chairman, Rep. Robert Brady (D-Penn.), lauded Beard’s years of service on Thursday, especially for putting lawmakers’ expense records in an electronic, easily accessible format.

“Under his direction, the House commenced several key initiatives, including the highly successful Green the Capitol program,” said Brady. “Dan also made our information systems safer and faster. He played a key role in our transparency initiatives, putting the Statement of Disbursements online. Dan deserves our thanks for his commitment to this institution.”