$20K for Drumsticks? GSA Blasted for One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference
The General Services Administration is back in Congress’s crosshairs today after the GSA’s inspector general reported to Congress on another installment of “egregious waste of taxpayer dollars” at the beleaguered government agency.
Just months after the agency was rocked when a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference was exposed by the agency’s inspector general, GSA is now facing scrutiny for wasteful spending at another performance awards ceremony for its employees.
This time, the agency is being investigated for spending $268,732 on a one-day conference for its Federal Acquisition Service division on Nov, 17, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia.
More than $20,000 of taxpayer money was spent on drumsticks for 4000 attendees, more than $8,500 for an appearance by someone called ‘Agent X’, according to the preliminary findings of the Inspector General. The event, which was held at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott just outside Washington, D.C., also included expenses of more than $35,000 for picture frames, $20,000 in catering charges as well as additional funding for a violinist and guitarist.
“This is another sad day for the taxpayers in the United States,” Rep. John Mica, the Republican chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, said. “This sounds almost unbelievable to have this kind of waste reported when we’re running trillions in dollars in deficit makes absolutely everyone’s blood boil.”
The outrage was bipartisan.
“It is deeply troubling to learn that more than a quarter million dollars in hard earned taxpayer money was wasted so that certain GSA employees could congratulate themselves,” Rep. Nick Rahall, the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wrote in a statement.