Shows & Panels
- Accelerate and Streamline for Better Customer Service
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Client Virtualization Solutions
- Data Protection in a Virtual World
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Feds in the Cloud
- Health IT: A Policy Change Agent
- Improving Healthcare Outcomes through IT Policy
- IT Innovation in the New Era of Government
- Making Dollars And Sense Out of Data Center Consolidation
- Navigating the Private Cloud
- One Step to the Cloud, Two Steps Toward Innovation
- Path to FDCCI Compliance
- Take Command of Your Mobility Initiative
Shows & Panels
GOP lawmaker questions spending at VA conferences
Monday - 8/13/2012, 9:47pm EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican lawmaker is raising questions about spending at training conferences held in Florida last year by the Veterans Affairs Department that have prompted an internal investigation at the agency.
Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the VA authorized $9 million for a series of conferences and said a preliminary investigation has found that planning trips for the conferences cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. He says VA employees reportedly received gifts including alcohol, concert tickets and spa treatments. Miller, who is from Florida, says VA officials had assured his committee earlier that oversight of spending was adequate.
The VA said in a statement that the conferences were for legitimate training purposes, but the VA's inspector general is looking into allegations of misconduct. VA spokesman Joshua Taylor said Monday the two conferences in question cost about $5 million.
While the IG investigates, the VA said it has taken action to remove purchasing authority of any employees in the work unit under investigation. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki also has directed an outside independent review of all training policies and procedures. The department also has directed ethics training for all VA personnel involved with the planning and execution of training conferences and recertification of contract specialists.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)