WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - In the wake of a 9 Wants to Know open records investigation that identified a half-million dollars in senior official bonus money, the General Services Administration announced it is suspending most of the award program.
Click here to see our original investigation: http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/206112/158/Unreported-GSA-Bonuses-And-Bonuses-To-Las-Vegas-Scandal-Officials
"I believe that these immediate changes will help the agency achieve better clarity about our compensation and hiring process as we continue to bring the maximum level of efficiency and effectiveness to the work we do every day," said Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini.
In a statement, GSA officials said changes include a temporary
hiring freeze agency wide and suspending 85 percent of bonuses for senior
executives through fiscal year 2013.
Republican leaders applauded the move, but continued to identify troubles at the agency.
"It's about time this agency is taking responsibility for its outrageous spending habits," said U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Ca.) who chairs a subcommittee with GSA oversight. "Hearing after hearing has continued to show the many levels of waste, fraud and abuse."
"This is only one small step to reform an agency that has spun out of control," said U.S. Rep. John Mica (D-Fl.), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "It's common sense."
The Congressmen condemned bonuses uncovered in May by 9 Wants to Know showing 67 senior GSA leaders, including officials who organized an $823,000 Las Vegas conference, receiving bonuses averaging $8,000 to $10,000 a piece.
The bonuses included $9,400 for GSA Commissioner Jeffrey Neeley, who left the agency in disgrace after organizing the $823,000 Las Vegas conference with 2,200 square foot hotel rooms, tuxedos, clowns, and high dollar food and appetizers.
Our investigation showed five of the conference organizers were handed bonuses despite ongoing Inspector General investigations.
The same five were placed on leave after the scandal became public according to GSA sources.
The WUSA 9 investigation identified senior officials receiving bonuses as high as $33,880 over a several year period.
Most of the bonuses reviewed by 9 News Now were not reported by the agency in a public database recording public payroll information.
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If you know about GSA corruption or waste, 9 Wants to Know. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org