In the first legislative response to the General Services Administration scandal Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced a bill Wednesday that calls for greater scrutiny of agency spending on conferences and tighter controls on awarding pay bonuses to agency employees.
Under the bill, conferences that would cost more than $200,000 would need approval by the agency head or other top-level official, and agencies would have to give annual reports on the conferences to Congress.
Under the measure, agencies would be prohibited from paying bonuses to employees or supervisors under investigation by an agency inspector general or equivalent official, to those who have been found to have failed to follow contracting regulations or laws in awarding a contract or to employees or supervisors who have taken, directed or supervised actions that led to fraud, waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars.
“I’m aiming to make sure that agency leaders can’t just shrug off responsibility for wrongdoing,” McCaskill said in introducing the bill, “and to see that employees who betray the public’s trust by wasting taxpayer dollars are punished, not rewarded for bad behavior.”