Watch Government Officials Spend 800k of Tax Payer Money in Vegas
Video of the General Service Administration's lavish trip hits the net
The now infamous General Service Administration’s (GSA) conference that made headlines this week for reportedly spending more than $800,000 for an unproductive, over the top Las Vegas conference, has embarrassing footage to go along with the its controversial backdrop.
The 2010 footage, obtained by the Huffington Post, follows the release of a spoof video of a GSA employee named Hank Terlaje singing about the lavish party and making a joke about their high-spending office culture.
In the name of “team building,” GSA employees are shown downing margaritas, putting on magic shows, frolicking with a clown, and destroying office property.
The GSA’s extensive spending was made public when the Office of Inspector General published their year-long investigative report into the Public Buildings Service's 'excessive and wasteful' 2010 training session, forcing GSA chief Martha Johnson to resign.
Among the report's findings: GSA spent $95 per person for a dinner reception at the M Resort Spa and Casino in Henderson, Nev.; $75,000 on a bike-building training exercise; $19 per person for an "American artisanal cheese display;" $7,000 in sushi; $3,200 for mind reader; $3,700 for T-shirts; and more than $2,500 on water bottles -- all at the expense of taxpayer’s.
The true extravagance of the five-day team-building trip can be seen in the series of 7 videos showing employees boasting about their designer tuxedos, before urging people to 'dispense with the notion that what's done in Vegas stays in Vegas.' In their case, this time, ‘what's done in Vegas needs to be shared with everybody,’ so said GSA administrator Jeff Neely in one video.
"These videos reinforce once again the complete lack of judgment exhibited during the 2010 Western Regions Conference," Greg Mecher, a GSA spokesman, said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "Our agency continues to be appalled by this indefensible behavior, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again."
In the video, an "angry clown" -- either a GSA employee or a professional hired by the organizers -- talks about making work more challenging for other people. "Meetings are good to have in between breaks," the clown declares. "Government -- if you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions."