Elevator Posters and Plastic Squirting Fish: House Investigating ‘Wasteful Spending’ at the DOL

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating what it calls “wasteful spending practices” at the Department of Labor regarding money spent on items such as plastic squirting fish and public relations contests.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating “wasteful spending practices” at the Department of Labor.

Information obtained by the Committee has raised questions regarding a pattern of frivolous spending, including $600,000 spent on informational elevator posters, $25,000 in entry fees for public relations contests, and $100,000 to promote a book club. The investigation also cites the Committee is looking into a 2010 conference held by the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division in Anaheim, California in which the agency purchased thousands of dollars worth of plastic squirting fish and goodie bags.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Thomas Perez requesting that he provide documents and information related to the activities the Committee is investigating.

“As this Committee is charged with investigating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government, I have initiated this oversight regarding DOL’s apparent disregard for taxpayer money,” wrote Issa in the letter.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.