The agency said Lurita Alexis Doan was attempting to promote diversity when she signed a July "service order" for a $20,000 study with the Diversity Best Practices, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
GSA contracts worth more than $2,500 had to be put out to bid, and the project was canceled, the agency said in a response to Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.
"A procedural mistake was made, discovered and corrected," GSA Associate Administrator Kevin Messner wrote. "In an initial attempt as new Administrator to champion the cause of small minority, women, and disabled veteran-owned businesses, the Administrator recognized and took responsibility for the mistake."
Waxman, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to the GSA asking about the issue after the Post reported it in January.