The report also found “redundant and wasteful” practices that included hiring outside event planners when the agency already had an event planning staff.
GSA spokesman Greg Mecher said the agency “is appalled’’ by the inspector general’s findings and will consider disciplinary action against other employees if it is warranted. He pledged fast changes to accounting procedures and increased oversight over conference planners and contractors. Employees will be required to take mandatory training in conference planning. Travel budgets for several regional offices have been reduced, and future “Western Region” conferences have been canceled.
Obama tapped Johnson to lead GSA in June 2009 and, after waiting eight months for Senate confirmation, she took the oath of office by telephone from her Annapolis home in February 2010 during a blizzard. During a February 2010 interview, Johnson said she intended to run the agency as ethically as possible after years of scandal during the Bush administration.