Videos call into question GSA's spending
WASHINGTON — A conservative watchdog group released a half-dozen movie parody videos and comedy skits on Tuesday by the General Services Administration that were removed from the agency's website after an inspector general report last year revealed lavish agency spending on a Las Vegas conference.
Judicial Watch, which obtained the material through a Freedom of Information Act request, said it was tipped to the videos by a current GSA employee, Linda Shenwick. Shenwick, a self-described whistle-blower, said the videos were a waste of time and money.
In videos such as “The Leasefather” — a send-up of “The Godfather” — costumed GSA employees promote agency initiatives, talk about government practices and try to motivate workers. Two GSA employees parody a famous scene from the movie with an employee begging for mercy from another.
The GSA did not immediately respond to email and phone requests for comment.
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said the videos were “extravagant and embarrassing.”
This “is further evidence of a bloated federal government completely out of control,” he said. “Clearly, the new administrator will have his work cut out for him if this pattern of preposterous waste is to be curtailed.”
The videos come as the GSA has sought to shed its reputation as a free-spending agency prone to government waste and just days after the Senate confirmed a new leader for the agency.
By a voice vote last week, the Senate confirmed Dan Tangerlini to take permanent charge of GSA. He had been the agency's acting administrator since 2012 and had led an internal push to scale back spending and repair the agency's reputation after a series of scandals. At his confirmation hearing, he told senators the agency had trimmed as much as $200 million in projected costs from its budget.
The cost of the parody videos — or their exact publication date — could not immediately be determined. They appeared to predate an inspector general's report last year that detailed more than $820,000 in spending on a 2010 Las Vegas conference for about 300 GSA employees that included a mind-reader, bicycle giveaways and showy, after-hours receptions in resort suites.
That report was a blow to a federal agency that has more than 12,000 employees nationwide and serves as the government's property manager.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture mismanaged rural program, federal audit shows
- Quarantine lifted, Maine nurse given right to roam
- Medicare paid for drug coverage of patients who had died, investigators say
- Designer of ‘Operation’ game short of surgery cash
- Maryland drivers scurry to grab cash
- Plane slams into pilot training center at Kansas airport, killing 4
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities
- Exhibit in Atlanta highlights Cezanne works
- Sex assault reports rise in W.Va. jails, prisons
- Space station sidesteps satellite debris