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By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - General Services Administration
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks. GSA’s mission is "to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions and by so doing foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people." - Source: Wikipedia
The cost to the federal government to build new courthouses could be much higher than originally thought, a new report has found, as estimates often leave off the costs of repairing and selling old structures the new construction will replace.
Donald Trump is barred from providing any space inside the Old Post Office building for a male revue, a condom store or — heaven forbid — dentists who work on credit, under terms of one of the most talked-about federal real estate deals in years.
In an increasingly familiar scene, a high-ranking former agency official went to Capitol Hill Wednesday and pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
Planners at the Department of Veterans Affairs accepted thousands of dollars in meals, spas, gift baskets and limo and helicopter rides from hotels hoping to host the VA's lavish conference business, a congressional investigation has found.
Builders across America are constructing and renovating everything from college football stadiums and Broadway theaters to libraries and elementary schools with an eye toward making environmentalists green with envy. They'll do whatever it takes to persuade the United States Green Building Council to give them an eco-certification award known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.
Strong Castle, a company headed by a former military prep-school student who never served in the armed forces, won Internal Revenue Service contracts potentially worth more than $500 million reserved for companies owned by disabled veterans.
A firm funding the car company founded by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has claimed on its website for months that its MyCar electric vehicle had been approved by the Defense Department "for U.S. military installations worldwide" — but government officials say they have no record of such an approval.
President Obama has a problem. He seems to be losing the ability to converse with the people he works for, and he resorts to being snarky. Recently, he gave what was billed as a major speech on climate change.
The embattled General Services Administration, which became embroiled in a controversy last year over an $800,000 Las Vegas conference featuring clowns and a mind reader, continues to show "malfeasance and disregard for taxpayer dollars" in its award of contracts, a report says.
There's a positive byproduct of the disgraces at a certain federal agency that has seized the imaginations of many in recent days.
The Environmental Protection Agency paid $750,000 a year to a warehouse contractor in suburban Washington whose employees watched television and lifted weights while taxpayer-paid supplies decayed in moldy, rat-infested conditions, an internal investigation found.
Two weeks before news broke that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny of their tax-exempt applications, a moderate GOP organization received word it was being audited — a move its organizers said suggests the tax agency's scrutiny included non-tea party political groups.
Everyone sat on plastic folding chairs, on a concrete floor in front of rows upon rows of empty industrial shelves. Speakers sometimes had to pause, to keep the rumble of trucks outside from drowning out their words.
Many Americans have stopped using the U.S. Postal Service in favor of private carriers like UPS and FedEx. And now, it seems, so has the federal government.
The federal government can't read a tape measure and doesn't seem to care whether the courthouses it builds remain within the size limits mandated by Congress, and the result is more than $800 million in wasted taxpayer money, according to an investigation by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' watchdog arm.The report said the General Services Administration's construction measurement and management are so poor that GSA built the equivalent of nine too many courthouses between 2000 and 2010.During that period, construction on 32 federal courthouses exceeded their Congressionally approved sizes by 3.56 million square feet, costing taxpayers $835 million. But the waste doesn't stop there. Investigators say the government is forced to maintain the space it doesn't really need, at an annual cost of $51 million.For poor management of construction that led to millions of dollars in waste, the General Services Administration wins this week's Golden Hammer, a distinction given by the Washington Guardian to examples of poor management, oversight and unnecessary spending.It all happened because GSA, which oversees federal buildings, wasn't accurately measuring floor space or keeping an eye on compliance with the congressional authorization, the watchdog office said in two reports released in 2010 and 2013. The agency "did not focus on ensuring that the authorized gross square footage was met in the design and construction of courthouses until 2007," investigators said, noting that structures built after 2007 are still exceeding authorized sizes."GSA lacked sufficient controls to ensure that courthouses were planned and built according to authorized gross square footage, initially because it had not established a consistent policy for how to measure gross square footage," investigators said.The GSA overestimated the number of judges working at the courthouses, investigators said, and also did not consider the possibility of judges sharing courtrooms.But GSA officials took issues with the report, saying that inspectors inaccurately measured square footage by including the empty upper space in atriums and applying the idea of 'courtroom sharing' to buildings constructed a decade ago, prior to the budget saving policy.GSA officials did not return calls seeking additional comment."GSA officials stated that courtroom space is among the most expensive of courthouse spaces to construct," the GAO said, noting that sharing courtrooms should be possible due to how infrequently they are sometimes used. "According to the judiciary’s data, courtrooms are used for case-related proceedings only a quarter of the available time or less, on average."One of the newest courtrooms, the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Miami, Fla., has space for 16 courtrooms, bringing the city's total up to 29. But with a courtroom-sharing plan in place, it would only need 17, the GAO said."It is important for the federal judiciary to have adequate, appropriate, modern facilities to carry out judicial functions," inspector said. "GSA and the judiciary have an opportunity to align their courthouse planning and construction with the judiciary’s real need for space. Such changes would greatly reduce construction, operations and maintenance and rent costs."