U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL) today announced that a Congressional hearing will be scheduled for August 1st on the latest General Services Administration (GSA) scandal. Yesterday, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the GSA Inspector General began investigations of a one-day GSA awards ceremony in November 2010 that cost taxpayers more than a quarter of a million dollars.
"Just one month after Jeff Neely was soaking in the hot tub and hundreds of other GSA employees were partying on the taxpayers' dime in Las Vegas, this agency blew another $270,000 in the nation's capital to hand out some awards and prizes," said Mica, Chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the GSA.
"In the midst of trillion-dollar deficits, this out of control agency spent $20,578 to hand out drumsticks to party attendees, and $36,174 on picture frames -- all hard-earned taxpayers' dollars," Mica continued. "Thousands more were spent on catering, a reception, travel expenses, and other logistics, not to mention entertainment by a drumming group, a violinist and a guitarist.
"Whether it's through extravagant and senseless junkets, vacations and bonuses for its employees, or by turning some of the federal government's most valuable properties into money-losers by letting them sit empty for years, this agency has demonstrated a profound and unbelievable tendency to treat taxpayer dollars like Monopoly money. This agency is in need of some dramatic reforms, and the Committee will explore all these topics at this upcoming hearing," Mica said.
Chairman Mica and Economic Development Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA) announced the Committee's own investigation yesterday into the estimated $270,000 November 17, 2010 GSA ceremony in the Washington, DC area. In addition to focusing on the investigation, the hearing will also explore potential GSA reforms, including examining whether the private sector would more efficiently perform GSA's mission to manage federal property.