Today, the House began the first day of hearings into the GSA $800,000 extravanza in Las Vegas, on your nickel, of course. The GSA official in charge of this “outing”, Jeff Neely, refused to answer any questions. Instead, he asserted his rights under the Fifth Amendment…not that there is anything wrong with that.
But please click here to have a better understanding of why that pesky Constitution does come in handy sometimes. In this case, the “after” and “before” pictures of Mr. Neely are illustrative.
But, there is more. GSA spent $330,000 of your money moving a worker from Denver to Hawaii. Once nicely settled in Hawaii, the GSA worker quit. And then,
[t]he House Transportation Committee reported that several GSA officials went to Hawaii for a one hour ribbon cutting ceremony – but stayed there for five to seven days on the taxpayer’s tab. [emphasis supplied]
But, lest you think your money didn’t “trickle down” to those of lesser status in GSA, know that the GSA’s largess applied to their interns as well.
As you heard on Jim’s show today, interns were treated to a “conference” at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort and Spa. Please click here to see what these poor interns had to put up with.
But, in government speak, this was a problem. Interns make very little money, and the government only allows $71 per day for lodging and food when one is traveling on government business. Ever concerned with the finances of their interns, GSA decided that they would supply “finger food” during the conference so that the interns would not have to use their daily travel allowance on food, but could rather use it all for lodging.. Here is a description of said “finger food” per the Inspector General’s report,
GSA employee: You call it light refreshments. They had pasta. How do you eat pasta with your fingers
IG’s office: Yeah.
GSA employee: They had a carver. How do you pick up prime rib with your fingers? They had oysters on the half shell. Yeah, you can pick them up, but why are we eating that?…
At least, you can sleep well tonight knowing that GSA’s interns are well fed…no doubt, far better than you could afford for yourself and your family.