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GSA cancels GovEnergy conference

Jul. 17, 2012 - 02:28PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini spoke with Federal Times reporters at the GSA Expo in San Antonio about his ideas for moving the organization forward. GSA canceled the 2012 GovEnergy Conference, which had been scheduled Aug. 19 in St. Louis, because the event did not meet standards put in place after the April inspector general's report detailing wasteful spending at the $823,000 2010 Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas.
Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini spoke with Federal Times reporters at the GSA Expo in San Antonio about his ideas for moving the organization forward. GSA canceled the 2012 GovEnergy Conference, which had been scheduled Aug. 19 in St. Louis, because the event did not meet standards put in place after the April inspector general's report detailing wasteful spending at the $823,000 2010 Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas. (Treasury Department)

The General Services Administration has canceled a major energy conference next month and has asked its inspector general to review contracts that had been awarded for the conference.

GSA canceled the 2012 GovEnergy Conference, which had been scheduled Aug. 19 in St. Louis, because the event did not meet standards put in place after the April inspector general’s report detailing wasteful spending at the $823,000 2010 Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas.

GSA has referred the conference contracts to its IG office over these concerns, according to a person familiar with the situation.

“There were many unanswered questions about how the conference was structured and there was not sufficient time to address the problems raised,” said GSA spokesman Dan Cruz.

He said the decision to postpone the conference is not a statement on GovEnergy — which he said is important for training and for agencies to discuss a wide range of energy issues.

“We look forward to working on planning next year’s conference,” Cruz said.

Money already collected will be reimbursed to registrants and vendors, according to GSA. The agency is reviewing what kind of penalties and fees it will have to pay for canceling the conference on short notice.

That April 2 IG report on the 2010 conference in Las Vegas led to the ouster of GSA’s top leadership, numerous hearings in Congress, and a top-to-bottom review of the agency by the new acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini.

The agency has added layers of approval to travel and conference requests and is limiting travel to all but “essential” training conferences.

GSA has not canceled every conference since the release of the April 2 IG report. It hosted the GSA Training and Expo in May in San Antonio and FedFleet in June in Louisville, Ky.

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