House Committees Investigating GSA Spending Following Johnson Resignation
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Two House committees said Thursday they are investigating wasteful spending by the General Services Administration, following an inspector general’s report criticizing a lavish conference in October 2010 in Las Vegas.
A House Transportation Committee panel has scheduled a hearing April 19 to examine spending habits at the agency that is in charge of the federal government’s real estate.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it wanted more information from GSA Inspector General Brian Miller. The committee asked whether Miller is aware of any disciplinary action taken against GSA employees involved in the planning or execution of the conference before the inspector general’s report was issued this week.
The White House accepted GSA chief Martha Johnson’s resignation after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the conference, which cost $820,000. The 300-person event at the M Resort Spa and Casino included a $95-per-person dinner and reception as well as various other violations of federal laws and policies.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee also released a six-minute video that was reportedly shown at an awards ceremony at the conference in which a GSA employee is applauded and named “commissioner for the day” for rapping about what he would do if he were head of the agency.
The GSA worker sings in the video about all the spending he would do if he were commissioner and how he would never be subject to inspector general investigation. The emcee at the ceremony, identified by the committee as Deputy Commissioner of the Public Building Service David Foley, presents the singer with a hat and jokes that he should pay for the party that was held in the commissioner’s suite.
A committee spokesman said they obtained the video from the GSA inspector general. The video is on the committee website.
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