The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing today to address the culture of wasteful spending at the Government Services Offices. Although one witness has indicated he will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, the committee would still like him to appear and answer as many questions as possible.
Rep. Darrell Issa told Fox News that he believes the problem is widespread and goes beyond the $800,000 spent on a lavish conference in 2010. The committee is looking into ways to change the culture of waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. The hearing will take place at 1:30 PM Easter Time and can be watch live at this link.
Lawmakers at this point are looking beyond the 2010 conference itself and into other areas where the agency may have spent money imprudently, such as on employee incentive programs. The hearing will surely fuel the controversy, which has expanded almost daily as new details emerge about the decision-making at the top levels of the GSA.
Among those on the witness list Monday are GSA Inspector General Brian Miller and former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, who resigned in the wake of the inspector general’s report on the conference.
The head of the GSA western region who organized the conference, Jeffrey Neely, has said through an attorney that he plans to plead the Fifth. His attorney says Neely doesn’t need to come to D.C., but Issa insists he should appear anyway.
“We’re looking at getting to the truth and to how widespread this is. Our questions for Neely and others will have to do with not just this one event, but about the culture at the GSA and how we change it. And we believe Neely should be able to answer at least some of those questions, and we’re hoping he will,” Issa said. (Read More)
Update: Just in case you weren’t aware of this scandal, or want to be brought up to speed on just how over-the-top it was, the committee put together this video mash-up of the coverage.