General Services Administration in Scandal

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The General Services Administration (G.S.A.) is under fire for a spending scandal, after a recent report has shown that a high-ranking official with the agency spent an extra night in Las Vegas after a past conference, at taxpayer expense.

GSA is the federal agency that’s in charge of the federal governments real estate.

The GSA has an annual conference in Las Vegas and in 2010 the agency spent around $830,000 in taxpayer money on a three-day internal conference in featuring a mind reader, commemorative coin displays and $75,000 training exercises.

As of April 11, 2012 a total of eight GSA employees had been disciplined, fired or resigned in connection to the scandal.

The GSA has been under fire from Congress after its inspector general reported last week that the agency overspent taxpayer’s dollars during their 2010 conference.  The GSA spent around $830,000 in taxpayer money on a three-day internal conference in 2010 featuring a mind reader, commemorative coin displays and $75,000 training exercises.

Acting GSA chief Dan Tangherlini in an online video statement Tuesday expressed horror over the scandal, calling it “completely unacceptable,” adding that employees are “shocked” and “deeply saddened” by the events.

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have all scheduled hearings complete with witnesses.

Secret Service Investigation

As if the GSA scandal isn’t enough, another agency is under investigation for improper behavior.  The Secret Service Agency is under investigation surrounding a recent trip to Cartegena, Columbia. Ahead of the President Obama’s trip there, secret service agents were there preparing for his arrival.  Several members of the agency, likely 11, were involved in soliciting prostitution, which is legal under Columbia law, but improper under official code of the agency.

According to officials, several special agents, including one supervisor, of the agency brought women back to their hotel room to perform sexual acts, when one of the agents refused to pay a woman for her services. She was found in the officer’s hotel room after 7am, the designated time when hotel guests were required to leave. Hotel officials found out and reported the incident to the US Embassy.

All of the agents involved were immediately removed from the country before the president arrived.  Presidential spokesperson, Jay Carney, said that the investigation did not get in the way of the president’s visit, where he was meeting with 30 world leaders promoting Latin American trade with the U.S. economy.

The case is currently being investigated. Secret Service officials have said that some of the officers involved were married.

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