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More stewardship of public funds: GSA spent $750,000 on travel expenses for work-from-home employees

By Doug Powers  •  June 2, 2012 12:02 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The government has an entire website devoted to the purported benefits, both environmental and fiscal, of having federal employees work from home. The GSA has contributed research to how teleworking supposedly reduces costs, among other things.

I’d hate to see how expensive it would be if these teleworkers had to actually show up at the office:

Ninety-five high-ranking employees at the General Services Administration who are assigned to work from home racked up $750,000 in travel expenses over nine months, documents show, prompting concerns from agency officials but no action to curtail the expenses.

The travel records, provided by the agency to congressional committees, provide fresh evidence of a spending culture at GSA’s Public Buildings Service that led to an embarrassing scandal this spring over a conference off the Las Vegas strip.

That’s an average of almost $8,000 in travel expenses per “virtual” employee in the span of just nine months. How many of these people were maintaining a “home office” on Hawaiian beaches?

This caused even Jeff Neely, the administrator famous for the $822,000 “GSA Gone Wild” Las Vegas junket, to channel his inner Oliver Hardy:

“100 virtuals and most of them with some pretty serious grades,” Neely wrote, referring to the employees’ General Schedule status. “[W]ell this is a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

It’s more appropriate to say this is a fine mess they’ve gotten taxpayers into.

Neely is no longer employed at the GSA. Maybe now he can volunteer to help Joe Biden make sure every penny of stimulus money is being spent responsibly.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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