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Federal Government Spends $822,751 On Training Conference

April 4, 2012 by  

Federal Government Spends $822,751 On Training Conference
PHOTOS.COM
In a report issued by the Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Government spent $822,751 on a training conference. The tab allegedly included the cost of a clown.

Martha Johnson, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), stepped down on Monday. Her move comes in the midst of an investigation about events that took place during a 2010 training conference.

The organizers of the event used taxpayer dollars to hire a clown, a comedian and a mind reader.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) referred to the shenanigans as, “a stupid and infuriating waste of taxpayer dollars.”

According to Jack Lew, White House chief of staff and former director of the Office of Management and Budget, President Barack Obama was incensed when he heard the news. He demanded that anyone who would disregard taxpayers by promoting excessive spending should be held fully accountable.

“He called for all those responsible to be held fully accountable given that these actions were irresponsible and entirely inconsistent with the expectations that he has set as President,” Lew said.

Four GSA employees who helped plan the conference are on administrative leave, and two other officials have been fired.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report on the fiasco, which took place in a high-end Las Vegas hotel.

“The OIG found that many of the expenditures on this conference were excessive and wasteful,” the report states. “In many instances GSA followed neither federal procurement laws nor its own policy on conference spending.”

The report breaks down the costs:

  • Total costs: $822,751
  • Costs incurred during the conference: $686,247
  • Costs incurred prior to the conference: $136, 504
  • Travel expenses for conference planning: $100,405.37
  • Catering costs during conference planning: $30,000
  • Catering costs during the conference: $146,527.05
  • Cost of daily breakfast per person: $44
  • Cost for each participant to receive a “yearbook” containing pictures of all attending: $8,130
  • Cost for each participant to receive a shirt: $3,749.40
  • Cost for each participant to receive a commemorative coin: $6,325

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Jo Tracy

    LIKE OBUMMER SHOULD TAKE HIS OWN ADVICE.DURING THESE HORRIBLE ECONOMIC TIMES, HOW CAN HE JUSTIFY ALL THE TAXPAYER DOLLARS SPENT ON HIMSELF & HIS FAMILY TAKING SO MANY UNNECESSARY VACATIONS? OH, THEN THERE IS HIS GREEN ENERGY WASTE, BAILOUTS & THE LIST GOES ON.

  • Robert Smith

    “■Cost for each participant to receive a “yearbook” containing pictures of all attending: $8,130″

    This isn’t anything new. Back in the ’60s as a PH in the USN we had to take pictures of VIPs who came aboard, rush to the lab, priint pictures of the VIP shaking hands with a bunch of folks, and package it in a GBC binder with prints already done of the ship, etc.

    It was always a hastle but I’m convinced that it put in hand something that would be a nice memory of their visit.

    Rob

    • http://none george

      WHY DID THEY HAVE TO HIRE A CLOWN. THE WHITE HOUSE IS FULL OF THEM ALL READY AT THE TAXER EXPENCE BUT THE DUMB ASSES ATTHE WHITE HOUSE DONT WORK OVERTIME

    • 45caliber

      Robert:

      It probably did give them a “nice memory of their visit”. But was it worth the money spent to give them that? I seriously doubt it. Further, why should it be the responsibility of the Navy to give them that at taxpayer expense?

  • Robert Bradfield

    Hi, its that pesky South African again,

    I could not be other than amused by what I read. The President was enraged because of what? $822000 but is not worried about a $15 trillion deficit. Is this not a case of being penny wise and pound foolish?

    • 45caliber

      You are correct. Further, his wife’s trip with her friends to Paris cost us a great deal more than this for fewer people.

    • Earl

      Obama is trying to clean up his image. It’s kind of like trying to polish a turd, no mater how you work at it, it’s still a turd, however shiny……….

  • s c

    Once again, the pot is calls the kettle black. Obummer has gone to a new level by claiming that he was ‘incensed.’ He’s a walking ad for waste and incredibly stupid behavior, and HE dares to point an accusing finger at someone else?
    You’d think Obummer is on a permanent vacation by the way he flits around the globe. And THEN you get to his wife and her traveling circus. I guess it makes “sense” in a perverted, utopian way. When you have no conscience, and someone else tells you what to say while you’re dancing by strings connected to your puppet master, anything goes – including Amerika.
    Cui bono, Obummer? Amerika has been hosed via the high priest of Big Gubmint Religion, people. May it fall faster than it was built and “funded.”

  • DavidL

    The people responsible got fired immediately. Good.

  • Jim K

    Just what is the cost to the taxpayers of Michelle Obama’s personal staff of 22 (I believe). A GS 5 starting pay in DC is app 34,000 (that’s probably low). GS-5 is the starting position for a clerk with 2 years experience. Administrative assistants can go from GS 5 to GS12. A GS 5 starting salary times 22 is $748,000. A GS12, step i is $74,872/year. That’s $1,647,184.00 Considering that most first ladies only had one assistant, that puts the GSA’s expenditures in a better perspective. I think the saying is, “do what I say, not what I do.”

  • Robert

    Was there not enough clowns there already?

    • cawmun cents

      They just could have had Omamba do the mind reading,comedy,and act the part of the clown.Then he could have been the inept ruler too.
      Those are four of his myriad personalities.
      The comedy isnt funny,he doesnt read minds well,but he is a top rate clown and an inept ruler of a sort.
      But since he is a champion at male bovine fecal matter,perhaps he should just be a lawyer….oops….he already is.
      -CC.

  • revnowwhilewecan

    The pres was upset because they only got a normal clown and couldn’t afford to have Johnny Depp come as Willy Wonka in full character like he did at his party in the W.H. The only thing bigger then the POTUS mouth is his balls for acting incensed and releasing a statement by one of his lackies that said, “He called for all those responsible to be held fully accountable given that these actions were irresponsible and entirely inconsistent with the expectations that he has set as President.”

    I needed to start the day off with good laugh!

  • VICTOR CHALKER

    WE HAVE THE FINEST GOVERNMENT THAT MONEY CAN BUY!! BUACH

  • Dens

    A clown a comedian and a mind reader? Sounds like the perfect answer to the question of “who controls the Senate? Are Harry and friends moonlighting?

    • 45caliber

      Well, if they are moonlighting, they have serious problems with mind-reading!

    • Robert

      That was too good.

  • John Wilde

    how much of this happens and it is just hid in accounting gimmics? remember these people work for you, assuming you actually pay taxes, and personally I like to see my money spent a lot more wisely than this!

  • Glen

    The only surprise to me is that it took so long for this to come out. I am a GSA employee and have witnessed the largess for years. Many such conferences occur. This was simply the most egregious. What other agency has all of its newly hired employees (not managers) come to Washington D.C. to imbibe the “Organizational Culture?” We have our employees stay at very expensive hotels for one week, costing hundreds of dollars per night, put on a first rate show with team-building exercises, and try to sell GSA to them. As new hires, they should already be sold on GSA. What’s needed now is a full audit of GSA’s conference practices. Many millions could easily be saved.

  • S Brekin

    MORE HYPOCRISY!! Obummed doesn’t think it is consistent with his expectations???? Take a look at ALL of his excessive vacations. NO PRESIDENT has ever shown such a shameful diseregard for the taxpayers. He’s flipping you off everytime he shoves this sh– in your face. Not surprising though – to be expected from a WELFARE, Black Panther loser. He’s even starting to believe his own lies.

    PHONY IS AS PHONY DOES!!

  • S Brekin

    GSA is the ‘power’ group of the Gubmit. They are the ones who get to PURCHASE products and services ($375 hammers anyone?) and award contracts to the highest bidder , mainly because he’s a politicians or administrator’s brother-in-law, cousin, etc. Most don’t even have a business or employees to fulfill the contract. They just SKIM 50% of the cash and subcontract it to a valid business – you know, they one that didn’t get the bid in the first place.

    I’m hearing from MANY Gubmt contractors that the GRAFT and CORRUPTION has Never been higher in their lifetime(s).

  • S Brekin

    This is almost as ridiculous as a LAW STUDENT from a $45,000/year school testifying to Congress that she can’t afford her birth control. Forest – Trees?? The Death Panels will deny her cancer treatment, but she’s pushing for her $20/month pills??? Unbelievably ignorant!!!

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