Statement from Gretchen Hamel on the New GSA Investigation

July 19, 2012

Media Contact: Press Office | 571.970.6490


Arlington, Va. – The inspector general for the General Services Administration (GSA) has launched an investigation into a $270,000 one-day awards ceremony by the GSA held outside of Washington, D.C., in 2010.  According to reports, the ceremony’s expenses included, among other things, nearly $21,000 for 4,000 drumsticks for attendees, $28,000 for “time temperature picture frames” and $8,600 for an appearance by someone named “Agent X.”

Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, issued the following statement:

Families and businesses earn every dollar they send to Washington and the federal government has an obligation to spend it honestly.  The lavish spending that’s occurred at the GSA in recent years is an outrage to every hard-working American taxpayer who expects their government to live by the same values and standards that they do.   This kind of reckless abuse is indicative of a ‘blank-check’ culture in this administration that has failed the American people.  We deserve answers and the GSA needs to be held accountable.

Fox News:  Investigation launched into one-day GSA awards ceremony that cost $270G

By Chad Pergram
July 19, 2012

The inspector general for the scandal-plagued General Services Administration has launched an investigation into a $270,000 awards ceremony held in suburban Washington, Fox News has learned.

The GSA apparently spent thousands of dollars on hors d’oeuvres, goodie-bag items and travel costs for the one-day ceremony in November 2010. The ceremony was held shortly after GSA hosted a now-infamous Las Vegas conference that led to a shakeup at the agency and drew the outrage of lawmakers.

In a letter obtained by Fox News, Inspector General Brian Miller told Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., whose subcommittee has jurisdiction over the GSA, that he’s investigating the 2010 awards ceremony — which was held across the river from the nation’s capital in Arlington, Va.

The ceremony didn’t include any mind readers, as the Vegas convention did, but did feature a violinist and guitarist, and plenty of novelty items for guests that ran up the tab.

It also featured what was described as a “drum band exercise.” As part of that, the agency spent nearly $21,000 on 4,000 drumsticks for attendees. Separately, the agency spent more than $28,000 on “time temperature picture frames,” according to the letter.

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To schedule an interview with Gretchen Hamel, contact the Public Notice Press Office at 571.970. 6490.

### is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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