Congress is tripping over itself to respond to the scandalous spending of over $800,000 on a General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas. The GSA is an obscure $30 billion agency that provides for common needs of other agencies, things like office space, acquisition and contracting support, and so on. If the people handling the administrative back-end work of the government aren’t handling it well—ooh, that’s a problem.
Among all the things Congress is doing, we’ve found an example of a bad response, and an example of a good response.
First, the bad: That’s H.R. 4454. It would require the approval by the head of an agency for any conference costing more than $25,000.
The idea is simple, of course. If the head of every agency had to approve of conferences, the staff that puts them together would have to be really careful from now on. It would be really easy to call the agency head in for a hearing. Problem solved!
Harpe goes on to suggest another plan that would cost about 500,000,000, that would supply the public with real simple to read data in an understandable format.. that seems like a lot of money to me– Of course Congress wants to create an new bureaucracy to go with it– and half a billion is pocket change as far as Congress is concerned
Presumably the data already exists somewhere within each department, the government isn’t suffering from a shortage of employees as it is. It should just be a matter of each department entering their own data onto a standard format–and a having certain purchases or what the computer thinks is an excessive expense triggering an alarm.
If NASA decided to buy a truckloand of hundred dollar a bottle campaign– someone might want to ask why–That was an example, as far as I know NASA has never btought a truck load of campaign at any price.