While most of the scandal around GSA’s lavish 2010 conference in Las Vegas revolves around overpriced mind readers, ridiculously expensive team-building activities and expensive meals, GSA also spent more than $130,000 just to pick the spot where they were going to blow more than $686,000.
So for your reading pleasure, a timeline of all the scouting trips GSA employees took to plan for the conference.
The morning of Monday, October 25, and all of Friday, October 29, were travel days.
GSA published a notice of its planned procurement on February 2, 2009. The subsequent conference planning meetings included the following:
March ’09 Five GSA employees conducted a “scouting trip” to visit nine Las Vegas-area hotels.
March ’09 15 GSA employees returned to visit two of the nine hotels again, staying at the M Resort and the Ritz-Carlton.
August ’09 Seven GSA employees stayed at the M Resort for a planning meeting
November ’09 A second WRC planning meeting, attended by 11 GSA employees, was held at the M Resort following Region 9’s leadership council meeting.
March ’10 16 GSA employees stayed at the M Resort again for a planning meeting.
June ’10 Nine GSA employees attended another planning meeting, this one at a Marriott Hotel in Denver, Colorado.
August ’10 21 GSA employees attended a conference planning meeting at the M Resort.
October ’10 Thirty-one GSA employees traveled to the M Resort for a “dry run” of the conference to be held later that month.
These off-site meetings cost the government over $130,000, including:
- A total of $100,405.37 in employee travel costs.
- Significant spending on catered food and beverages during the various pre-conference trips to the M Resort, totaling over $30,000 for the scouting trip, four pre-planning meetings, and dry run. These charges included $57.72 per head lunches ($44 for lunch plus beverages and a 22% gratuity) and $48.80 breakfasts ($40 plus a 22% gratuity).
- Other expenses, such as audio-visual services and printing costs.