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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

The GSA Video That Beggars Belief

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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

As if the story about the lavish conference/party thrown by GSA's Public Buildings Service in October 2010 wasn't bad enough, now comes, via the office of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., an absolutely incredible video that takes the scandal to a whole other level.

In the video, a person who appears to be a GSA employee begins strumming a ukelele, then launches into a tune that has to be heard to be believed. It concerns what the singer would do if he were commisioner (of PBS, presumably), and is, in the weirdest possible way, prescient about what would result from the conference. Some lyrical excerpts:

Obama better prepare, when I’m Commissioner.
I’d have a road show like [Acting Regional GSA Administrator Jeffrey] Neely, every time you see me rolling on 20s yeah, in my GOV.
Spend BA 61 [building operations account funds] all on fun.
ATF can’t touch GS-15 guns!
Cause I buy everything your field office can’t afford.
Every GS-5 would get a top hat award.
Donate my vacation, love to the nation,
I’ll never be under OIG investigation.

Then, in an almost surreal scene, the video shifts to the employee (again, apparently) receiving an award at the controversial conference for producing the video  -- and being named "Commissioner for a Day." In the awards presentation, a reference is made to the catered party in the deluxe suite occupied by former PBS Commissioner Robert Peck during the event. 

The whole thing is tone-deaf (literally and figuratively) in almost too many ways to count. 

Watch the video for yourself:

 

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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