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Gerry Clinchy
04-05-2012, 04:21 PM
Surprised no one is commenting on this.

Can we only imagine how many other govt agencies are wasting money like this?

And then they were dumb enough to make a video joking about the cost of it all!

Wonder if the people responsible will still get to collect their Fed pensions?

BonMallari
04-05-2012, 04:28 PM
all I can say is they didnt waste that money at my place of business...somebody's head needs to be served on a platter, way too much of that on the taxpayers dime

ARay11
04-06-2012, 10:21 AM
What does the GSA really do?

Jason Glavich
04-06-2012, 10:32 AM
820,000 for the conference. Their budget is barely over 12 million I think. But it has went up a lot. It was at 3 million a few years ago.

Look up the GSA rap video it talks about blowing money and jokes about the lavish party in the directors suite.

helencalif
04-06-2012, 02:49 PM
I think this story just broke day before yesterday. There could be more to come about this wastefulness. One report I heard on TV yesterday said that the director who planned this expensive fiasco is either out on paid leave while it is being investigated or he got reassigned. Not sure. I caught only part of the TV coverage on this story as I was cooking in the kitchen and heard only bits and pieces. But enough to make my blood boil.

Aren't you glad Obama told us not to go to Las Vegas?

Helen

cpj
04-06-2012, 03:11 PM
They paid $4 each for shrimp.

Walden7272
04-06-2012, 05:08 PM
I am with aray11, what does the GSA really do? If they only have a budget of $12M and they are part of the government, they can't do much. But I will say they learned how to whistle tax payer dollars with the best of them.

Speaking of the $4 shrimp. John Stewart had a pretty funny bit about that on his show last night. Flipping through the channels I caught it and was laughing pretty hard. He had Bill O'rielly in on it and I thought it was pretty good.

Walden7272
04-06-2012, 05:09 PM
Last post should have said waste tax payers dollars. Damn auto correct is messing me up. Lol

duckheads
04-06-2012, 06:07 PM
I believe the GSA is in charge of transportation and travel for Federal workers or something of that nature.

Marvin S
04-06-2012, 06:20 PM
I believe the GSA is in charge of transportation and travel for Federal workers or something of that nature.

Several years back my next door neighbor, an employee of the Forest service, was using a government truck to haul wood to his home. I took a picture, gave GSA the license, & it stopped. Unfortunately he was not terminated as he would have been in the real world :(.

Gerry Clinchy
04-06-2012, 06:58 PM
[quote=Walden7272;949885]I am with aray11, what does the GSA really do? If they only have a budget of $12M and they are part of the government, they can't do much. But I will say they learned how to waste tax payer dollars with the best of them.
quote]

Also have something to do with managing Federal real estate. The fellow who was fired, Beck, increased his own personal part of the GSA budget by about 50% from the time he went into his position. The agency's budget went from around $3 million to $12 million since 2007 (I think that was the time period mentioned). Maybe that could have been controlled a bit if the Senate had passed any budgets since then?

At least the head of the agency did one good thing before she resigned ... she fired Beck first; then resigned.

BTW, isn't there anything anyone can do to compel the Senate to put a budget on the floor? If they are "required" to present a budget each year, where/what is the penalty for their dereliction of duty? Some candidate ought to put that on their list of campaign promises: MAKE Congress pass a budget!

Eric Johnson
04-06-2012, 07:56 PM
The GSA really has several roles.

1. They are the "landlord" or rental agent for the Feds. If you need office space (or anything else) and don't have the resource in your Dept., the GSA will find it for you either by renting it or by finding you space in a building that is already owned or leased.

2. They do a lot of the procurement for goods and services that are used across the Federal gov't depts. They might do a x-ray film but they wouldn't do aircraft wings. They would procure telecommunications services for a dept. but wouldn't procure telecommunications services or equipment for the battlefield.

IOW, they are the Feds "general store".

Eric

Matt McKenzie
04-07-2012, 07:09 AM
The GSA really has several roles.

1. They are the "landlord" or rental agent for the Feds. If you need office space (or anything else) and don't have the resource in your Dept., the GSA will find it for you either by renting it or by finding you space in a building that is already owned or leased.

2. They do a lot of the procurement for goods and services that are used across the Federal gov't depts. They might do a x-ray film but they wouldn't do aircraft wings. They would procure telecommunications services for a dept. but wouldn't procure telecommunications services or equipment for the battlefield.

IOW, they are the Feds "general store".

Eric

3. And they party like rock stars! ;-)

ARay11
04-07-2012, 09:20 AM
interesting....

How GSA is funded:

Only one percent of GSA’s total budget is provided through direct congressional appropriations. The majority of GSA's operating costs are recovered through the products and services it provides.

Another tidbit from the front page of their website:

HOW GSA BENEFITS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

GSA oversees the business of the U.S. federal government. GSA’s acquisition solutions supplies federal purchasers with cost-effective high-quality products and services from commercial vendors. GSA provides workplaces for federal employees, and oversees the preservation of historic federal properties. Its policies covering travel, property and management practices promote efficient government operations.

SO....

The GSA's "customer" is the Federal Government. Right?
They derive "only" one percent of their budget from Congress.
BUT... The remaining 99% of their budget comes from the money they make off of their customer... which would be the Federal Government.

Uhhh... and this makes our government "More transparent"??????

Gerry Clinchy
04-07-2012, 08:24 PM
Reported today, however, is that this is really Bush's fault:




The administration also argued Friday night that the cost of the Western Regional Conference increased sharply under the Bush White House -- from $93,000 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006 to $655,025 in 2008, then $840,616 in 2010, or just 28 percent under Obama.


However, there is no mention of the ballooning of the agency's overall budget in the past three years.

Based on Aray's explanation, it would seem that nobody was minding the "store." Seems they made about 11 million profit on their "services & products" in their most recent year (since their budget grew from about $3 million in 2005 to $12 million in the most recent year). And then the people who ran the "store" decided to reward themselves with the profits for running such a profitable "business", and spend almost 8% of their total annual budget on their own entertainment. And we complain about the greedy corporations in the private sector?

It was also mentioned that this was for the "western region" conference. Wonder what they spent on the other regional conferences?

Gerry Clinchy
04-07-2012, 08:55 PM
Here are the agency's budget figures:



Between fiscal 2007 and 2011, the budget for the commissioner's office alone ballooned from $3 million to more than $9 million -- according to stats provided to the House committee now scrutinizing the numbers. The budget for the agency's headquarters rose 50 percent in that time.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has accused the agency of "stonewalling" his panel in inquiries about those costs. A subcommittee on that panel announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a hearing for April 19 to examine the agency's spending practices.
The GSA has not returned a request for comment from FoxNews.com about those budget figures.

And it's unclear why the figures within the Public Buildings Service have been rising over the past few years.

The commissioner for the service, Robert Peck, was fired in the wake of the convention scandal. The head of the GSA and a top adviser also left the agency following the IG report.

It may be incidental, but the increase for the commissioner's budget can be traced to the year after Peck was appointed in 2009.

In fiscal 2009, the commissioner's budget was $3.25 million, slightly above its level two years earlier.

But that figure jumped to $6.94 million in 2010. It jumped again to $9.16 million in 2011.

1tulip
04-08-2012, 05:19 PM
The hypocrisy reeks. Look, Nevada has been devastated by the recession. Economically, Las Vegas has been the biggest part of our state revenue. The Prez, told people it was BAAAAD to take a junket to LV... he didn't say this just once. He said it twice. It just killed us.

So, love the fact that they come to LV for THEIR junkets. Bet they got good room rates and everything because we're so starved for business. Then again, they were probably too stupid and arrogant to bargain with the hotel/casinos. After all, it's not their money.

Sabireley
04-08-2012, 06:50 PM
They did bargain... the hotel daily rate was above the level allowed by gov't regulation, so the hotel lowered the room rate meet the requirement but charged the difference ($44,000) on a different line item to make it up. Creative...

troy schwab
04-16-2012, 01:53 PM
Well, today the former head of GSA............................................... .................................................. .................................................. .........WAIT FOR IT................................................ .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ....Apologized.


Seriously? How bout some jail time for those involved. How is this different from embezzlement in a private company???? What a freakin joke.

Gerry Clinchy
04-19-2012, 01:04 PM
And now we hear that Panetta has spent $860 million (avg. $20,000/wk) flying home every other weekend since he became Sec of Defense.




The unhappiest question that Panetta’s travel begs is this: Is there no other qualified person who could serve as secretary of Defense who would relocate to the Washington metro area for the job? Why are his services worth an extra $20,000 a week in average travel costs?

Panetta can expect to hear these kinds of questions today from the Armed Services committee, a fiery bunch whose members include Rep. Allen West of Florida and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

Panetta, 73, may have cause to wonder whether life wouldn’t be better if he stayed among the walnut trees.


I suspect that Allen West will not be very sympathetic to Panetta's expenses, as P is busy advocating big defense cuts for the foot soldiers.

gmhr1
04-19-2012, 01:08 PM
I hope they look into the spending of ALL gov agencies. The picture of Jeff (GSA) sitting in the tub with two glasses of wine is priceless! They all need to be fired, what a joke!

helencalif
04-23-2012, 12:11 PM
The latest news... did I hear it correctly?

That the fellow who had Jeff Neely's job as Western Region Director before Neely got the job was fired because he embezzled GSA funds?

If this is correct, it seems to me that the person responsible for watching the directors of these regions should have been watching the activities of the Western Region Office (San Francisco) a lot more closer than they did.

It would be interesting to see some sort of GSA organization chart showing who the GSA region directors are supposed to be reporting to.

Helen

helencalif
04-23-2012, 12:28 PM
It would be interesting to see some sort of GSA organization chart showing who the GSA region directors are supposed to be reporting to.
Helen

To answer my own question, I Googled "GSA organizational chart" and up it came. There are 9 regions; each has a regional director. It appears that there is no office/no person in between the directors and the top GSA office holder which is the GSA Administrator. There is a GSA Deputy Administrator and she is Ms. Brita who was the whistle blower.

I am wondering how much oversight there has been on the operations of these regional directors. Is Neely the only bad apple or are there more out there? The GSA Administrator (Ms. Johnson) who resigned over this has said that when she came to the position, that things were running a lot differently than years before. She implied that the western region was running amock. Why was it allowed (i.e. tolerated) by her ? As GSA Administrator, she had the position to stop abuses. She said she is sorry that she has lost her position, but not sorry she recommended Neely receive a $9,000 pay increase?

I am glad she is gone. She looked the other way.

If I misinterpreted the GSA organizational chart, let me know.

Helen

helencalif
04-23-2012, 12:45 PM
I am wrong. I have been bouncing around the net trying to find out exactly what Jeff Neely's position was. I found that he is being referred to as being a "commissioner".

The Western Region Director is Ruth Cox who approved Neely's $9,000. bonus (or some say it was a pay increase) and sent it up to GSA Administrator Johnson who gave final approval.

Somewhere in all of this Western Region Director Cox should be on the hot seat.

Helen

Gerry Clinchy
05-21-2012, 08:18 PM
Now the 9th Circuit judges are planning a "conference" in Hawaii that will cost taxpayers around a cool $1 million. This is a west coast circuit. Surprised there isn't a mainland location that could serve their purposes. There's always Las Vegas :-)

Gerry Clinchy
06-15-2012, 07:38 PM
LOL! The GSA isn't the only one to spend Fed $ in Vegas.
http://nation.foxnews.com/teachers/2012/06/13/teacher-uses-federal-funds-dine-hooters?intcmp=fly


The problem is that the $32,000 came from a $4.4 million federal fund dedicated to improving two low-achieving schools within the Waterloo district. The Des Moines school district also received aid from the fund.


Perhaps this helps us better understand why we keep throwing more money to "improve" education, and yet the students' achievement levels have not gotten higher. The lack of control with Fed $ spread all over creation leads to abuse and misuse of these funds. When the $ is not seen as coming directly out of the local taxpayers' pockets, there is less care with how it is spent. If this was not Fed funds could you imagine the uproar from the taxpayers asking for these guys to reimburse the school district(s)?

brian breuer
06-16-2012, 10:27 AM
I am a Federal employee (I know that will taint my credibility on here) so I have first hand experience with GSA. GSA like mentioned above is the real estate agent, car lease co, and general store for federal agencies. We are required to use them for office space, cars, and at least attempt to use GSA suppliers for other items before we go outside the system.

They are a large agency that affects every Federal agency including defense. In my opinion, it was created to ensure that other agencies were procuring items properly (not sending all the cars to cousin Roy's auto for $100 oil changes once a month, etc.) and to ensure good prices with volume buying power. Like anything else it has gone south (road to hell paved with good intentions fits well here).

Now, they are just another time consuming hurdle to me doing my job. Due to the time delays their suppliers usually charge more than open market.

The vehicles are the worst deal going. Our office has 2 cars, 3 suvs, and a half ton truck. We are charged a monthly lease rate, plus mileage, plus repairs. We are told when we can get oil changes (10-15K miles), when we can get new vehicles, never know exactly what we are getting until it arrives, and have to ask permission to get repairs authorized which comes out of our budget.

The GSA rate for the lease and mileage make it about double what you can lease a comparable vehicle for. We moved offices last year. The process took approximately 16 months. Then we didn't have internet at the new site for a month, phones for 3 weeks. Twice a day I would walk across the street to the college and check email.

Just give me a budget for the year and tell me how many vehicles I can have, I can handle the leasing myself. Also, for office supplies etc, Office Depot, Amazon, and Grainger aren't that complicated.

gmhr1
07-19-2012, 11:04 PM
GSA at it again they spent 270k on a one day conference when will this stop?

ARay11
07-20-2012, 10:27 AM
GSA at it again they spent 270k on a one day conference when will this stop?

this kind of stuff is what has every TAX PAYING American up in arms. The abuse runs rampant throughout. I doubt the GSA will be discussed by the boys fishing Little Wewoka Creek today.

Gerry Clinchy
08-01-2012, 12:19 PM
As the investigation continues, they keep finding more "dirt". The GSA, with 1% of Fed employees, is gobbling up 10% of employee bonuses ... to the tune of $44,000,000 in the most recent year. Some employee got $115,000 in OVERTIME, when his/her base salary was $84,000/year ($42/hour) With the overtime, the base was more than doubled. Wonder if the overtime was for time spent at some of those nifty conferences?

Seems they keep uncovering more stuff as they dig deeper. Could this be part of why Holder doesn't want anyone digging deeper into the Fast & Furious debacle?

At the moment GSA has cancelled 37 conferences that were previously scheduled.



At one controversial conference held in suburban Washington in 2010, more than 3,700 employees received bonuses averaging about $1,000 apiece at the conference. The cost to taxpayers was $3.6 million.


Wonder what they did that was exceptional to merit bonuses?

ARay11
08-01-2012, 12:52 PM
As the investigation continues, they keep finding more "dirt". The GSA, with 1% of Fed employees, is gobbling up 10% of employee bonuses ... to the tune of $44,000,000 in the most recent year. Some employee got $115,000 in OVERTIME, when his/her base salary was $84,000/year ($42/hour) With the overtime, the base was more than doubled. Wonder if the overtime was for time spent at some of those nifty conferences?

Seems they keep uncovering more stuff as they dig deeper. Could this be part of why Holder doesn't want anyone digging deeper into the Fast & Furious debacle?

At the moment GSA has cancelled 37 conferences that were previously scheduled.


Wonder what they did that was exceptional to merit bonuses?


In the sales game (which they are admittedly in).. we receive bonuses based on GROSS PROFIT. So, everytime they gouged our pockets, we paid them more. Awesome!!

Gerry Clinchy
08-15-2012, 11:02 PM
And the scandals keep on coming. Now a 4-star general has been investigated for "mis-using" hundreds of thousands of dollars of govt money in various unauthorized expenses, including allowing family members to travel on govt aircraft.

One of his penalties could be having his retirement rank reduced from 4-star general to 3-star general. This could cost him ... sit down ... about $1 million in reduced retirement pay and overtime. Guess there are lots of ways to become a millionaire, but I didn't suspect that this was one of them.

This is a non-partisan ... abuses like this didn't begin "overnight". They've obviously been growing over time due to big govt and budgets so large that nobody can keep track of them.

If all this abuse doesn't convince voters that a lot of the Fed budget isn't pure, unadulterated waste, I cannot imagine what it would take to do so.

Gerry Clinchy
08-21-2012, 07:40 PM
And now we find out that the Veterans' Administration has spent $5M on conferences as well ... including the production of a "spoof" film of the movie "Patton".

Our tax dollars at work ... entertaining bureaucrats.

Every time they find waste like this, the budget of that agency should be cut by that amount the following year.

Gerry Clinchy
10-01-2012, 07:08 PM
Yup, Buzz, I dug up another old thread ... since it ties in with the newest revelation that the VA this year spent $6 million on conferences. While the IG report indicates that they offered valid training courses at these conferences, they also included luxury percs like those used by the GSA. Two VA HR conferences in Orlando so far have tallied up to the $6 million, but the IG says the tally could go higher. $762,000 in excessive, unnecessary expenditures have already been flagged.

The top HR official resigned as the report was presented. He was an Obama appointee.

Is there anyone left who thinks we should raise taxes on ANYbody before we find all the waste in the govt agencies? What motivation would there be to cut costs if we didn't use austerity first? While the VA is cutting costs in serving its veterans, these turkeys are livin' it up in Orlando with "artisan cheese displays". Reprehensible.

charly_t
10-02-2012, 01:48 AM
Yup, Buzz, I dug up another old thread ... since it ties in with the newest revelation that the VA this year spent $6 million on conferences. While the IG report indicates that they offered valid training courses at these conferences, they also included luxury percs like those used by the GSA. Two VA HR conferences in Orlando so far have tallied up to the $6 million, but the IG says the tally could go higher. $762,000 in excessive, unnecessary expenditures have already been flagged.

The top HR official resigned as the report was presented. He was an Obama appointee.

Is there anyone left who thinks we should raise taxes on ANYbody before we find all the waste in the govt agencies? What motivation would there be to cut costs if we didn't use austerity first? While the VA is cutting costs in serving its veterans, these turkeys are livin' it up in Orlando with "artisan cheese displays". Reprehensible.

You go, girl ! You are doin' great. Cut back all this waste to the bone.

ARay11
10-02-2012, 10:24 AM
Yup, Buzz, I dug up another old thread ... since it ties in with the newest revelation that the VA this year spent $6 million on conferences. While the IG report indicates that they offered valid training courses at these conferences, they also included luxury percs like those used by the GSA. Two VA HR conferences in Orlando so far have tallied up to the $6 million, but the IG says the tally could go higher. $762,000 in excessive, unnecessary expenditures have already been flagged.

The top HR official resigned as the report was presented. He was an Obama appointee.

Is there anyone left who thinks we should raise taxes on ANYbody before we find all the waste in the govt agencies? What motivation would there be to cut costs if we didn't use austerity first? While the VA is cutting costs in serving its veterans, these turkeys are livin' it up in Orlando with "artisan cheese displays". Reprehensible.

"austerity".... sounds like a bad disease. makes people want to riot in the streets. we need a new word or it will never "sell".... It's become incredibly obvious that until conservative becomes "cool"... it will never fly.