Top Obama Cost Cutter Resigns After $800,000 Vegas Spree
The Obama Administration's top cost-cutting official -- Martha Johnson, the head of the General Services Administration -- was forced to resign after a scathing Inspector General report revealed serious squandering of taxpayer funds.
GSA is the federal government's principal procurement agency. The idea is that by centralizing the procurement of office space, vehicles and supplies, the federal government will save funds and cut costs. What could go wrong?
According to Federal Times, GSA recently spent $822,000 on a conference in Vegas for only 300 employees. That included $147,000 for airfare and lodging for planning trips by conference organizers! I can't help but wonder if that figure includes other costs. I almost hope it includes gambling, cocaine and female entertainment at that price.
But here's my favorite part:
Among the other expenses were $3,200 for a mind reader; $6,300 on a commemorative coin set displayed in velvet boxes; and $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle, according to the IG report, which was obtained by Federal Times.
GSA also promised the hotel an additional $41,480 in catering charges in exchange for the "concession" of the hotel honoring the government's lodging limit.
The agency also spent $44 a person per breakfast and $95 per person for its closing reception dinner.
The agency also spent money on mementos for attendees, clothing for GSA employees and tuxedo rentals, according to the report.