The hits are still coming for the U.S. General Services Administration. Lisa Rein reports in The Washington Post that the GSA spent $268,732 for a one-day awards ceremony to honor top-performing employees—a lavish event that cost taxpayers more than $1,000 for every employee honored.
Rein reports on some of the outrageous spending for the November 2010 event: more than $20,000 for drumsticks, for example. The travel to bring 49 employees to Washington, D.C., for the event cost almost $50,000.
The event followed close on the heels of a conference in Las Vegas, where the GSA's Public Buildings Service spent some $835,000 for a four-day event billed as a training seminar for 300 Western Regions Conference employees. The discovery of the wasteful spending for that event led to the terminations of GSA chief Martha Johnson and Public Buildings Service chief Robert A. Peck. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a subsequent hearing to investigate the waste of taxpayer dollars.
Acting GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini, appointed to hed the agency after Johnson's ouster, uncovered the November 2010 episode, Rein reports. During the House hearing, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tasked Tangherlini and GSA inspector general Brian Miller to root out the agency's wasteful culture. Between the two events, the GSA spent more than $1 million on airfare, entertainment, and luxury lodging for public employees.