Mica says there could be 70 GSA conferences to examine for waste

Mica was referring to the 2010 Las Vegas conference in which more than $800,000 was spent and led to an uproar and committee hearings earlier this year. Soon after House members probed that “lavish” conference, it was reported that GSA held another conference in Virginia in 2010, at which $270,000 was spent in just one day.

{mosads}”One-day conference, a quarter of a million dollars, $104,000 to a consultant for one day, $20,000 spent on drumsticks, another $35,000 on picture frames,” Mica said. “And we think unfortunately they are dribbling this information out.”

GSA responded to Mica on Tuesday by saying that the 70 conferences in question took place between 2005 and 2011, and that GSA has provided information about these conferences to the Office of the Inspector General, and has continued to provide information to Congress “as issues are uncovered.”

“We’ll continue to look at past conferences and refer any issues we find to the OIG,” GSA Spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said. “This is all part of the ongoing top-to-bottom review initiated by the new head of GSA Dan Tangherlini.”

Mica will host a hearing on GSA’s wasteful spending on Wednesday morning. That meeting will hear from Brian Miller, the inspector general of the GSA, and Cynthia Metzler, the chief administrative services officer at GSA.

Mica said during the interview that these hearings are needed because GSA has not fully cooperated with questions about other GSA conferences where wasteful spending might have occurred.

“I have to say that cooperation has not been good,” Mica said. “Whether it’s these conferences that are multimillion-dollar wasteful spending or multibillion-dollar projects that are sitting idle, building and properties that are sitting idle, they are not cooperating or acting in the interest of the public.”

— This story was updated at 7:48 p.m. to add GSA’s response.

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