The GSA(General Services Administration) Inspector General and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are once again investigating another GSA meeting for abuse of taxpayer funds. In this case, it is an award ceremony in Arlington, Va that ran up a $268,732 bill to the taxpayer. In view of the ongoing investigations, the GSA had cancelled a GovEnergy Conference scheduled for August in St. Louis.
The Arlington one-day-sponsored awards ceremony was held by the GSA Federal Acquisition Service in November 2010, about a month after the notorious $823,000 Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas. The fallout from the Las vegas conference lead to meeting cancellations, new standards and firings.
There are two ceremonis, one at the Crystal Gateway Marriott and a reception at the Key Bridge Marriott, included coordination and logistical management, outsourced to a third party at a cost of $104,484. Some of the funds were spent on 4,000 drumsticks for attendees for a drumming activity($20,578), 4,000 picture frames that showed digital displays of the time and temperature($28,064) in addition to travel and other expenses.
Ther GSA Inspector General said, “We want to see exactly how far up this goes and how widespread this type of waste and corruption is within government. …. There have got to be other agencies out there doing this, and we plan to continue investigating until we uncover and put a stop to all instances of wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.” GSA officials said this type of spending is not tolerated under the new leadership.