U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) today criticized the General Services Administration following the release of an Inspector General report detailing a nearly $900,000 conference the agency conducted in Las Vegas in 2010. Emerson chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government which is charged with funding the GSA's annual budget.
"GSA is a rudderless agency with clear issues of accountability for taxpayers. This latest revelation demonstrates the urgent need for reform, and it severely undermines the agency's relationship with Congress and the American people. The lack of common sense extends from examples like this one to substantive concerns about how GSA uses its budget, from abuses of eminent domain to needless cost overruns on construction projects to an impenetrable method of assigning costs to federal leased space to the inability to properly dispose of excess federal properties," Emerson said.
Emerson said the report would result in further reductions to the funding cuts already planned for the GSA in FY2013.
"I'm appalled, and I can't understand how a federal agency can waste as much money on a trip to Las Vegas and a magician as a congressional office operates on in a full year. In a fiscal environment that demands accountability for every dollar, GSA has proven they cannot manage the resources entrusted to them in the past. They need to justify their very existence to Congress and to U.S. taxpayers," Emerson said.