Federal jobs filled despite hiring freeze

Details about the conference surfaced this year after The Times sought details about it through a Freedom of Information Act request. Congress also is investigating dozens of GSA conferences spanning Democratic and Republican administrations.

Participants at the Crystal City event included Susan F. Brita, a deputy GSA administrator who was widely praised for helping expose an earlier wasteful conference in Las Vegas. Mr. Costa didn’t attend the Crystal City event, but he was present and participated in a skit for the Las Vegas gathering, which cost $800,000. The conference included clowns, a mind reader and in-room parties.

The GSA administrator at the time, Martha Johnson, and several other top officials were forced out in the wake of news about the Las Vegas conference this year, resulting in Mr. Tangherlini’s appointment.

While dozens of employees have been hired and individual bonuses appear safe for now, Mr. Cruz said, the reforms are on track.

GSA leadership has suspended all organizational performance awards, cut bonuses for senior executives by 85 percent and announced at a recent congressional hearing that additional cuts will be made to individual performance awards,” he said.

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