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GSA conference probe: No big deal?

money drain

In response to our story about some General Services Administration employees being put on leave over conference spending, a reader dubbed "I am GSA" wrote: Come on. Really? How about that dead horse, isn't there anything better to write about? Some people did bad things, and we are paying the price for their actions. I need three levels of approval for travel, not to a conference, not to training, but to do my job. We in the field are way past frustration. And if this is the best that FCW can do, I'm out, you have now become a fish wrapper.

Mark Rockwell responds: Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a June 4 speech at the Professional Services Council that the people most angry about the GSA conference scandal are GSA employees. That's not surprising. The actions of a few tarnished the reputations of thousands of honest, sensible and hard-working GSA employees. Tangherlini has made it a point to address the scandal head-on and to show the agency has moved past that history and is busy reinventing itself as the go-to place for federal government needs. The new revelations concerning over-the-top conference spending -- or at least the perception of lavish expenditures -- at the Internal Revenue Service have provided more perspective for GSA's past difficulties.

The reports coming out of the IRS show that such behavior isn't limited to GSA, but could be a wider issue. This story reports a milestone in the final leg of GSA's handling of a similar problem, where IRS's may be just beginning. It's an important story because it shows that GSA is continuing to make sure such behavior is punished and prevented, even as its scandal fades into memory.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jun 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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