Las Vegas Meeting's Cost Prompts Lawmaker Review of Agency
April 4 (Bloomberg) -- House Republicans said they will hold a hearing on spending by the U.S. General Services Administration after the agency's chief resigned because of a conference at a Las Vegas area resort that cost $823,000.
"This outrageously lavish training conference, which was held on the taxpayer's dime, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the spending habits of GSA," Representative John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said today in an e-mailed statement. "This agency is sitting on thousands of underutilized and vacant properties across the country which cost Americans $1.7 billion to operate every year."
Martha Johnson, President Barack Obama's appointee as administrator of the agency that manages federal property and acquisitions, quit on April 2 as the GSA's inspector general was about to release a report on its investigation of the October 2010 event for 299 employees at the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nevada.
The taxpayer-funded conference provided $44 daily breakfasts for employees, almost four times the government's $12 allowance for the morning meal in Las Vegas, according to the report. The agency also spent $6,325 on commemorative coins and $8,130 to print "yearbooks" for participants.