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Shows & Panels
Shakeup at GSA
On Monday, April 2, 2012, General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson stepped down from her post after firing Bob Peck, the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, and GSA adviser Stephen Leeds. The shakeup in the administration came on the heels of an inspector general report that detailed excessive spending by the agency at a conference in 2010. Read Federal News Radio's full coverage of the Shakeup at GSA.
Experts say all the focus on Capitol Hill and within agencies will lead to better management and give more respect to whistleblowers. Carolyn Lerner, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, said the attention on the misdeeds of the Public Buildings Service would bolster the need for stronger ethics and integrity.
Embattled GSA official Jeff Neely ran his region like a "fiefdom" and was the agencies "weakest link," Congressman Elijah Cummings told In Depth on Thursday. And while he supports investigating conference practices government-wide, that isn't an excuse for fed bashing, he said.
Current and former General Services Administration this week faced tough questioning from lawmakers on a $823,000 tab to taxpayers for a 2010 conference in Las Vegas. But this example of lavish spending is only the latest incident in the "horrible track record" at GSA and raises the question if the agency needs to be restructured — or dismantled altogether, argues one lawmaker.
From Darleen Druyun to Jack Abramoff to wartime contracting, history shows the Public Buildings Service's lavish spending is small potatoes. Experts say the energy and time Congress has put into hearing on the GSA conference near Las Vegas could be better used to address bigger, most costly problems.
Washington attorney Bill Bransford joins host Mike Causey to answer questions that affect whistleblowers in the federal government.
April 18, 2012
General Services Administration Inspector General Brian Miller told senators on Wednesday his office had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department relating to the ongoing spending scandal. Speaking at the last of four congressional hearings about the GSA, Miller testified that he has heard from "a lot" of whistleblowers since his report was released several weeks ago.
The Accountability in Government Act would require agency leaders to sign off on any conference costing more than $200,000.
A former General Services Administration executive created a culture of lavish spending — and fear among his employees who spoke up against him — according to testimony in a House subcommittee hearing today.
The conference spending scandal at the General Services Administration will create a more cautious environment throughout government, said Bill Bransford, partner at Shaw, Bransford and Roth.
Federal News Radio hosts Tom Temin and Francis Rose join host Mark Amtower to discuss some of the top issues affecting federal workers.
April 16, 2012.
Inspector General Brian Miller testified Monday that GSA's Region 9 remains under further investigation for potential bribery and kickbacks. Martha Johnson, the former chief of the General Services Administration, was hammered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over what she knew about a 2010 Las Vegas conference and when she knew it. Johnson resigned her post after an inspector general report detailed excessive spending at the $822,000 event.
Read tweets about the hearings and join the conversation using hashtag #GSA.
Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenas Jeff Neely, PBS region 9 commissioner, to appear. Along with Neely, PBS Deputy Commissioner David Foley and former Administrator Martha Johnson are on the witness list. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also is expected to hear from GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita, CFO Alison Doone and event planner Lisa Daniels.
Government workers are under orders to blow the whistle if they spot waste, fraud or abuse. But, for many, that is easier said than done. What if the crook or clown is your immediate boss? Or your agency head? So who guards the guards?
Current and former officials at the General Services Administration will face a gauntlet of congressional hearings this week, following reports of excessive spending on a 2010 regional training conference and other programs. In an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose, former Virginia Congressman and Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tom Davis shared his insights and what to look for during the hearings.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has broadened the scope of Congress' probe into the GSA conference scandal, requesting a list of all overnight conferences attended by more than 50 employees at 23 federal agencies and departments.
Internal emails from the General Services Administration show high-level agency officials were aware of a spending problem months before the scandal burst into public view. And as early as last summer, officials disagreed over how to reprimand the employees responsible for excessive spending at a 2010 regional training conference.
Allan Roth of CBS MoneyWatch and Federal Times reporters Andy Medici and Steve Losey join host Mike Causey on today's program.
April 11, 2012
In a letter to employees, Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini and IG Brian Miller asked employees to be more vigilant to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. They said one of the most troubling aspects of the PBS conference incident was no one reported it or took action to stop it.
Members of Congress and media watchdogs are thoroughly outraged over GSA's meltdown in the Nevada desert. But those guardians of public morality and safety are also delighted at the foul-up, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. And we love those YouTube videos too.