WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — If you thought you'd already the majority of the government waste from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), it looks like you're wrong.
On Tuesday, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released a half dozen parody videos and comedy skits filmed by the GSA, which were removed from the agency's website after an inspector general report last year revealed lavish agency spending of over $800,000 on a Las Vegas conference for 300 employees.
Conference expenses included a mind reader, a clown, and a $75,000 "team building exercise" that involved assembling a bicycle.
Judicial Watch, which obtained the material through a Freedom of Information Act request, said it was tipped to the videos by a current GSA employee, Linda Shenwick. Shenwick, a self-described whistle-blower, said the videos were a waste of time and money.
One video, titled "Director's Meeting in Progress," ironically depicts the board of directors as a group of unruly monkeys who, in the words of Judicial Watch, "continue drinking and partying" until the one level-headed GSA employee "joins them in a dance routine."
Take a look for yourself:
In another video, a GSA official raps to the tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" about the need for more money to balance the books.
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, called the videos "extravagant and embarrassing."
This "is further evidence of a bloated federal government completely out of control," he said. "Clearly the new administrator will have his work cut out for him if this pattern of preposterous waste is to be curtailed."
The videos come as the GSA seeks to shed its reputation as a free-spending agency prone to government waste, and just days after the Senate confirmed a new leader for the agency.
By a voice vote last week, the Senate confirmed Dan Tangerlini to take permanent charge of GSA. He had been the agency's acting administrator since 2012 and has apparently led an internal push to scale back spending and repair the agency's reputation after a series of scandals. At his confirmation hearing, he told senators the agency had trimmed as much as $200 million in projected costs from its budget.
Still, Judicial Watch notes that the GSA's 2014 budget request reads: "GSA requests $248 million for seven annual appropriations, which is a net increase of $9.6 million from the FY 2012 actual level." [Emphasis added]
The cost of the parody videos and their exact publication date could not be immediately determined.
Other videos include a parody of the movie "Rocky," where GSA employees are informed about a fitness initiative as people jog through the halls of the agency's New York facility and into the streets of Manhattan. Another clip acts out a scene from the TV show and movie series "Mission: Impossible," and depicts an exploding tape recorder.
In a statement Tuesday, GSA spokesman Dan Cruz said the agency's new administrator already had referred the videos to the GSA's inspector general for further review.
"This is another example of past GSA practices and an already recognized pattern of misjudgment spanning many years and administrations," Cruz said. "These videos were made and shown in 2011 in a regional office, prior to new leadership arriving at GSA. Under the new leadership at GSA, these types of events are not tolerated and must be submitted for review to senior leadership."
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