Rep. Mica: GSA officials spent week in Hawaii for one-hour ribbon cutting

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that the ongoing probe into the wasteful spending habits of the General Services Administration (GSA) has uncovered that several GSA officials were flown to Hawaii for a week to attend a one-hour ribbon cutting ceremony.

The announcement from the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairma is the latest in a slow drip of news on GSA's activities that will culminate in two explosive hearings next week. One of Mica's subcommittees will hold a hearing Tuesday, and the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee will grill current and former GSA officials on Monday.

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Most of the anger from lawmakers has focused on a 2010 junket to Las Vegas that cost more than $800,000, as well as bonuses and expensive gifts given to GSA employees. But Mica said the Hawaii trip is a new low.

"The Las Vegas conference was the tip of the iceberg, and every new example demonstrates the mind-boggling culture of waste and blatant disregard for the taxpayers' money within GSA," Mica said.

Information about the Hawaii trip comes from the same source that most of the other information has come from — GSA's Inspector General office. Mica released a partial transcript of an interview with a GSA employee who said several employees went to Hawaii on a Saturday and returned the following Friday for a one-hour ribbon cutting ceremony.

"That was the official reason?" the IG office asked.

"That was the official reason, yeah," the employee replied, adding that these trips are "fairly frequent."

When the IG office suggested that the employees were working hard the whole time, the GSA employee replied, "I doubt it."