How much are other agencies spending on award coins? A nonpartisan group wants to know

Cause of Action, a nonpartisan government accountability group, has asked 28 federal agencies’ inspectors general offices for information on award coins issued to federal employees.

The group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request in response to news that the Pacific Rim region of the General Services Administration spent $6,325 on award coins for employees, given out during a Las Vegas training conference in 2010.

“We are sending these letters because if there are more instances of this type of wasteful spending, we intend to expose it,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of the organization.

The expenditure on the coins was revealed Monday when GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller reported on misuse of federal funds when the Pacific Rim office spent nearly $823,000 on the conference, that included a clown, a mentalist and high-end suites. GSA administrator Martha N. Johnson resigned and two of her senior deputies were fired after the report was issued. Four GSA managers who organized the four-day conference have been put on administrative leave pending further review.

Cause of Action has asked the agencies to release the information in 20 days.

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