• What Happens at GSA Conferences, Stays in GSA Inspector General Reports

    If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. For instance, if you've got a successful business leading team-building exercise in which the group leader chants "keep integrity, accountability to that bass beat," you didn't build that. Somebody at the Government Services Administration did that.

    Following reports of a $823,000 conference in Las Vegas, a four-day event that included a clown, a mind reader and a $30,000 reception (but no unpaid prostitutes, looking at you, Secret Service), the General Services Administration has been under close scrutiny.

    This time, the agency's inspector general is investigating a one-day $269,000 awards ceremony in Arlington, Virginia that included…

    * $34,073.38 in catering and room rental charges,

    * $28,364.45 for "time and temperature picture frames"

    * $20,578.24 for 4,000 drumsticks given out to employees, and

    * a $7,697.22 "commissioners reception" for high-ranking officials

    Keep in mind, the Secret Service probably had a lot more fun banging their drum sticks on their taxpayer-funded trips than did the GSA. Plus, I doubt many federal bureaucrats want to be stuck in Marriott Hotel to celebrate their performance. They'd rather get a bonus.

    Unfortunately, cheesy ceremonies and tchotchkes for rank-and-file workers in lieu of actual rewards has become the norm in the private sector. So perhaps the government is finally starting to run like a business.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Money, Virginia


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