US Procurement Agency shows the world how NOT to do it….

I suspect Jason at Spend Matters US will have more to say on this, but we couldn’t resist...

The US General Services Administration, the Federal organisation that oversees much of the procurement, buildings management and associated services for US government bodies is reeling this week from the resignation of its leader, Martha Johnson, and several other dismissals.


This follows an investigation into a conference held in October 2010 for 300 staff at the  M Resort Spa Casino, near Las Vegas (see the video here), that cost – wait for it - $820,000. That included $130,000 for pre-event scouting and planning trips, and all sorts of other dodgy costs – drinks in private rooms after hours, expensive receptions, gifts and so on. What makes it worse of course is that the GSA is charged with helping the Government save money.  The report called the expenditure “excessive and wasteful;” and much of it was in violation of the agency’s own policies.

If you go to a meeting in most UK government offices now,  you will literally be lucky to get a cup of tea. Certainly no biscuits. So I guess we should be grateful in the UK that the climate has changed so much that this sort of thing has become pretty much unthinkable.

Here’s more of the list of costs from the event, courtesy of Fox news.

Planners spent $31,000 on a "networking reception" that featured $19-per-person "American artisanal cheese display" and a $7,000 in sushi. Taxpayers also footed the bill for a $3,200 session with a mind reader, $5,600 for in-room parties, $3,700 for T-shirts and almost $2,800 in water bottles.

A separate cocktail reception included $1,500 for "Boursin scalloped potato with Barolo wine-braised short ribs" and a $525 bartender fee for a cash bar. A senior official spent $2,700 to entertain other employees after the closing dinner. And three officials spent almost $400 for rented tuxedos.

You know, you almost have to admire such single minded determination to waste taxpayers’ money...

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Voices (2)

  1. VegasChild:

    Disappointed I didn’t get an invite. As a special offer to SpendMatters readers, I’m willing to undertake all sorts of pre-event scouting activites in Vegas, at cost.

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