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  • Inspector General to Investigate Lavish Commerce Department Conferences

    The Commerce Department’s inspector general will investigate whether an obscure agency within the department spent millions of dollars on an annual conference near Disney World in Florida. The agency has disputed those allegations, first brought by congressional Republicans on behalf of a whistleblower.

    If the whistleblowers’ numbers — contained in a document reportedly sent to Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) — are correct, they could fuel yet another scandal pertaining to agency expenditures on lavish retreats for their employees. The General Services Administration and the Veterans Administration have also come under fire for wildly expensive events for their employees.

    But the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Commerce agency that hosted the conferences in question, disputes Adams’ whistleblower report. According to the NIST-MEP, the agency has spent anywhere from $480,000 to $670,000 on its annual conferences since 2006 — still hefty sums, but significantly less than the $3 million to $5 million alleged by Adams.

    The Commerce Department’s IG will attempt to resolve those discrepancies, according to an announcement posted on its website last week. The investigation looks to determine the “legitimacy and reasonableness” of conference expenditures.

    Here is the IG’s announcement of the investigation:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Inspector General to Investigate Lavish Commerce Department Conferences

    1. Henry Felter says:

      Even if it's only $480,000, that is not acceptable. Everyone in the Government has a computer. Video conferencing means no travel expenses, no loss of time away from job, and no money spent period
      .This is the 21st century people, we are a wired country

    2. Gilbert S says:

      How can we allow these agencies to spend the amount of money on conventions, outings or whatever they all them….. Whistle blower claims 3- 5 million spent in Orlando in May 2012…… BUT THEY SAY only $670845. A NUMBER THAT WOULD MAKE ONE SHUDDER. But according to Department of Commerce, that not that much….. I could invest at a 8 % return and keep a fireman or policeman on the job…..

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