The U.S. General Services Administration, under investigation for excessive spending at a Las Vegas conference, almost tripled its expenditures for such events from 2005 to 2010.
Taxpayers paid $27.8 million for more than 200 overnight gatherings attended by at least 50 GSA employees since 2005, according to records obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The destinations included New Orleans; Orlando, Florida; and Palm Springs, California.
Lawmakers have been scrutinizing the agency since an inspector general report on April 2 revealed the 2010 Las Vegas event had cost more than $800,000. Since then, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has resigned, and the inspector general has referred the matter to the Department of Justice.
“Starting with the Bush administration, GSA has wanted to be `more like business,’ but they seem to have picked up more of the vices than the virtues,” said Charles Tiefer, a former member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. “These conferences look less like learning experiences and more like rewards for favored subordinates.”
- Videos Surface Of GSA’s Embarrassing Bash (personalliberty.com)