Everyone hates it.
In fact, there’s a government agency in charge of making sure other agencies' staffers don’t go overboard with their spending.
The General Services Agency (GSA) is an independent government agency with the mission of lending support and managing the basic needs of other federal agencies. And, in the last few years, the GSA has been focused on doing its job in a financially efficient manner while trying to cut costs.
(For our readers who work in government, these are the guys who keep denying your request for a fancy new desk chair and force you stay at the Holiday Inn while traveling on business.)
Until recently, the GSA has been under the leadership of Martha Johnson, who’s been there since President Obama appointed her about two years ago. But, earlier this week, Martha was forced to offer her resignation, while two of her deputies were fired and four managers were put on leave due to irresponsible spending for a GSA conference in Las Vegas.
According to reports, an Inspector General investigation found that the "training conference" featured:
- Airfare and lodging ($147,000);
- a $30,000 reception (think $19-per-person artisanal cheese display and sushi ($7,000);
- a $75,000 bike-building training exercise;
- commemorative “yearbooks;”
- coin sets for attendees (~$6,300);
- a stand-up comic;
- $146,000 on catered food and drinks;
- a clown;
- and a mind reader (~$3,000);
- $130,000 in travel expenses for six scouting trips (to plan the trip)'
- $5,600 for semi-private in-room parties; and
- $44 per person daily breakfasts.
The grand total the event cost taxpayers? More than $800,000.
Is it just us or does that sound like the lamest illegal/unethical -- nearly $1M -- party thrown by government officials in Vegas ever?
VIDEO: Party In The GSA (spoof)
VIDEO: "Waking Up In Vegas" by Katy Perry
Editor's note:The main photo has nothing to do with this story -- but, it was taken at Tao in Las Vegas ... so I thought it would spice things up a bit. Uh, $3,000 for a mind reader when you could have girls in a tub? Really?
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