House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is asking the Department of Labor for all information about a series of wasteful spending, including spending $600,000 on posters for the department’s elevators, and $100,000 to promote a book club.
“[D]ocuments obtained by the committee appear to show a pattern of wasteful spending and mismanagement at DOL,” Issa wrote to Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Monday.
Issa’s letter said that starting in 2009, the department started producing “weekly elevator posters” for its 23 elevators. Issa said Labor has spent $2,637 per week on these posters since 2009, for a total of more than $600,000.
“According to DOL, the posters represent an effective method of communicating with employees,” Issa wrote. “Media reports indicate that DOL deploys up to three communications specialists or artists to produce designs each week.”
The letter also cited press reports saying Labor hired the Washington Nationals mascot for an agency event, and “spent over $100,000 to promote a book club.”
Issa said his committee has learned that Labor’s Office of Public Affairs gathered its employees together for a meeting in which Senior Advisor Carl Fillichio “used profane language to criticize employees who allegedly contacted the media.” The letter said Fillichio “threatened to retaliate against employees who brought OPA’s questionable spending practices to light.”
Issa asked Labor for all documents related to the various reports of wasteful spending, and asked that they be produced by September 8. Read Issa’s letter here: