The inspector general for the General Services Administration said Monday that he is investigating possible bribery and kickbacks in the agency, as lawmakers accused the former GSA administrator of allowing a Las Vegas spending scandal to erode taxpayers’ trust in government.
Inspector General Brian Miller told a congressional committee scrutinizing an $823,000 Las Vegas conference that his office has asked the Justice Department to investigate ”œall sorts of improprieties” surrounding the 2010 event, ”œincluding bribes, including possible kickbacks.” He did not provide details.
Miller’s revelations of possible further misconduct by organizers of the four-day event, coming on the heels of a highly critical report, enraged Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The lawmakers put GSA officials on the defensive during a tense four-hour hearing, with some Republicans loudly rebuking former administrator Martha N. Johnson and her colleagues.
GOP lawmakers argued that the excessive spending proves their case for smaller government. Taxpayers picked up the tab for a mind reader, bicycles for a team-building exercise and a slew of private parties at the conference.
”œThere are those who believe government’s reach should be expanded,” committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in his opening statement. ”œWhat has come to light surrounding GSA’s activities should give pause to anyone who has opposed cutting government size and spending.”