Another Obama success story!
An internal government memo released Friday shows officials of the General Services Administration were aware of a spending problem months before the scandal burst into public view this month.
The GSA’s deputy administrator, Susan Brita, emailed agency officials last July that the inspector general found no substantive agenda at a 2010 GSA conference at a Las Vegas resort.
She said that expenses for a clown suit, bicycles used for a team-building exercise, tuxedos and a mind-reader didn’t lend themselves to the claim of a substantive conference. The event cost taxpayers about $823,000.
Brita also questioned why a regional administrator in charge of the conference received only a disciplinary letter that “is not even a slap on the wrist.”
A major concern in the memo was how The Washington Post, with thousands of readers who are federal employees, would report the story.
“The Obama administration has not been upfront with the American people about how long they’ve known about lavish spending abuses at GSA,” committee chairman Darrell Issa said.
The California Republican added, “It’s clear that they were fretting about the political consequences and preparing for media scrutiny on abuses many months ago, but didn’t seem to take real actions until the release of the inspector general’s report couldn’t be delayed any longer.”
Brita wrote that a letter to a GSA executive responsible for the conference, Jeff Neely, “should be crafted with a WAPO (Washington Post) mind frame.” Neely is one of the eight officials placed on administrative leave.