JLF Triangle Blog

Sen. Burr Fed Up With VA’s Lavish Spending On Conference

I have been blogging about the outrageous spending scandal at VA, which included all sorts of goodies for employees and an expensive Gen. Patton spoof video. Now Sen. Richard Burr has had enough of VA’s spending shenanigans as well. From the News & Observer:

Sen. Richard Burr joined with Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida to call for the removal of a high-level member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A report last week by the department’s Inspector General highlighted $762,000 in wasteful spending, including $50,000 for production of a video parody of the movie Patton.

One high-level VA exec has already resigned over this debacle — on the eve of the release of the Inspector General’s report. Here’s a Federal Times summary of what the IG found, in addition to the $50,000 or so spend on the Patton video.

Investigators also questioned about $762,000 in “unauthorized, unnecessary, and/or wasteful spending” at the conferences, including:

• Almost $281,000 in excessive spending for audiovisual services, catering, food, beverages and other miscellaneous expenses at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

• More than $200,000 in unsupported expenses, including almost $154,000 in contractor travel that VA paid for.

• $97,900 in unnecessary promotional items.

• $43,000 in questionable awards paid to VA staff for their roles in managing these conferences. The IG questioned those awards in light of the mismanagement and lack of cost controls.

What an insult to the tax-paying public.

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