GSA has IG look at contracts for canceled energy conference
The contracts awarded in preparation for the recently canceled GovEnergy conference have been referred to the General Services Administration inspector general, Government Executive has learned.
According to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified, "the issues surrounding the contracts that were uncovered as part of the rigorous review of the GovEnergy conference have now been referred to the Office of Inspector General for their review."
The IG’s office confirmed it had been in contact with agency officials and completed a preliminary analysis, but had not yet uncovered anything alarming. “We are in communication with GSA, but at this time, we do not see any issues warranting OIG review,” Sarah Breen, special assistant for communications for GSA OIG, told Government Executive.
The 15-year-old trade show and training workshop planned for August in St. Louis previously brought together thousands of federal employees with an energy specialty, along with industry interests, small businesses, and state and local officials.
GSA has cracked down on travel and conference expenses in the wake of this spring’s scandal about overspending at a 2010 training conference held in Las Vegas, and its withdrawal from this year’s GovEnergy event was enough to force a postponement.
“GSA has found that the conference does not meet the standards that GSA has put in place for conferences and contracts,” the agency said in statement. “There were many unanswered questions about how the conference was structured.”