Congressmen Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have called for VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich to be removed from his position following an Inspector General report outlining excessive spending on recent conferences.
Miller and Burr made the request in a letter sent on October 5 to Eric K. Shinseki, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In the letter, the Congressmen cited the Administrative Investigation of the FY 2011 Human Resources Conferences in Orlando, Florida IG report which found unnecessary or wasteful spending on two HR conferences last year. The report questioned $762,000 in expenses on items such as a video parody of the movie Patton ($49,516), promotional items ($112,823), and cash awards to conference planners ($43,017).
Miller and Burr said in the letter that Chief of Staff Gingrich ultimately has responsibility for approving funds for conferences and that he “cavalierly approved an exorbitant conference budget” and “treated his responsibility casually.”
They said that a message must be sent that wasteful spending carries with it a high price, stating, “A message must be sent to all VA employees that perfunctory execution of so great a responsibility is inexcusable at any time, and at any level. Mr Gingrich’s removal as Chief of Staff is the unequivocal way to deliver that message of responsibility.”