GSA presses employees for vigilance against waste, fraud, abuse

Wednesday - 4/11/2012, 4:59pm EDT

The acting administrator of the General Services Administration and the inspector general are encouraging employees to report or bring attention to any potential examples of waste, fraud and abuse.

Dan Tangherlini, the acting head of GSA, and Brian Miller, sent a letter to employees today reinforcing the need to be vigilant and to not hesitate pointing out questionable use of funds. The note to employees comes in the wake of an IG report detailing how $822,000 was spent on a conference for 300 employees of the Public Buildings Service in October 2010.

"One of the more troubling aspects of this incident is that people did not report this improper conduct or take action to stop it. We would like to change this moving forward," Tangherlini and Miller wrote in the letter. "There are many good, conscientious, and hard-working people in GSA, and, when no one raises a concern about potential fraud, waste and abuse, the reputation of the GSA, as a whole, is tarnished."

GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini

The two also promised there would be no retaliation against anyone reporting improper conduct and government waste.

The letter is part of an aggressive effort by Tangherlini to change the culture in the agency. He released a YouTube video to employees yesterday and wrote another letter the first day on the job after Martha Johnson resigned.

"GSA has a special responsibility to provide government-wide, high-quality, low-cost services," the letter stated. "Therefore, stopping fraud, waste and abuse is a core collective responsibility. As public servants, it is our duty to speak out if we see something that may be inappropriate. As partners with the OIG, we must work closely with their staff and provide all information and access they request."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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