The last several weeks have given us headline after headline about the outrageous spending by government officials on conferences hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA). In fact, the 2010 GSA “Conference” in Las Vegas that has been highlighted recently, included mind readers, lavish parties and embarrassing parodies, all paid for with taxpayer funds.
President Obama has appointed 45 Agency Czars who he says are supposed to be watching out for just this type of abuse. Apparently, Mr. President, it’s not working.
Unfortunately, this outrageous behavior by officials at the GSA is only a small part of the bigger problem of out of control spending by the federal government. We must take steps now to rein in that spending. Every government agency and department must be held accountable for their spending and that’s precisely why I have introduced the "Agency Conferences and Conventions Operating Under Necessary Transparency (ACCOUNT) Act".
Under this proposed legislation, the days of extravagant, out of control government conferences will quickly come to an end. It will require the head of a government agency to approve conferences, post expenses in writing and require the submission of an annual report to the Congress. It will ensure that conferences are focused on core functions of executive agencies and that those agencies are held accountable immediately for wasteful spending.