McCaskill Statement on GSA Case Being Referred for Possible Criminal Investigation
April 16, 2012
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who in 2010 began investigating the Government Services Administration (GSA), today released the following statement after the GSA's Inspector General asked the Department of Justice to consider criminal charges against a former GSA staff member:
"After investigating GSA for more than a year, it's good to finally see some real accountability for its leaders over the way taxpayer dollars are being spent. If, in addition to sheer incompetence and irresponsibility, there was criminal wrongdoing, then I hope it's rooted out and that those responsible are punished accordingly."
A 2011 Senate hearing chaired by McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor, focused attention on the lack of accountability at the GSA, and preceded the GSA Inspector General's investigation into spending at a conference in Las Vegas.
At the hearing, McCaskill questioned then-GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and then-Public Buildings Service Commissioner Bob Peck regarding GSA's decision to award a no-bid public relations contract and the failure of senior Administration officials to adequately review and justify the contract price. The GSA IG released a report earlier this year finding that "some of the information provided by GSA officials during the hearing contained misstatements of fact" and that a supplemental letter provided by the then-Administrator Martha Johnson contained "incorrect" information and failed to correct the earlier errors. In today's letter, McCaskill noted that the individual found to have made misstatements of fact to the Subcommittee also received a bonus.
Today's referral comes after the Obama Administration announced that Johnson has resigned and that Peck has been fired. The personnel changes were the result of an Inspector General report into a GSA conference held in Las Vegas and followed McCaskill earlier hearing into waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars through GSA contracts.
McCaskill has also requested the names of agency officials who have received bonuses while under investigations by the Inspector General or while they were subjects of audits, as well as the size of those bonuses.
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