GSA Finds More Than $250,000 Spent on One-Day Event
A “top-to-bottom” review by the General Services Administration, the federal agency that was found to have spent lavishly on an October 2010 conference in Las Vegas, has revealed that the agency also spent more than a quarter-million dollars for a one-day awards ceremony just outside Washington in May 2010.
The latest spending came to light Thursday when members of Congress were notified that the agency has opened an internal investigation into the roughly $268,000 spent for the 2010 event held not far from the Pentagon in northern Virginia.
The agency’s preliminary review has determined that approximately $20,000 was spent on drumsticks given to the attendees of the award ceremony. A source inside the agency told CNN that a drum band was hired for the event and the drumsticks were given to allow attendees to play along with the band and make the activity interactive.
“I know, it’s ridiculous,” the source said, and acknowledged “a lot of frustration” because the agency’s new leadership is dealing with events that happened under the previous administrator.
The source also told CNN there are a lot of changes and reforms coming to the agency and that some are already in place, such as a freeze on bonuses and pay raises instituted by Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini, who took over after the previous administrator resigned.
In addition to $20,000 for drumsticks, the agency’s inspector general also informed Congress on Thursday that a preliminary review has found the spending included roughly $34,000 for the venue, including catering charges, room rental charges and AV charges; roughly $7,700 for a reception at a second hotel for the same one-day awards ceremony; and approximately $104,000 for logistical and management services provided by a outside vendor.
In a statement provided to CNN, the General Services Administration said this type of spending “is not tolerated.”