GSA employees spent 5 days in Hawaii for 1-hour groundbreaking event

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Wednesday that five employees associated with the recently scandal-plagued Government Services Administration went to Hawaii for up to a week in 2011 to attend an hour-long groundbreaking on space leased by the federal government for the FBI.

Details of the incident surfaced in a transcript of an interview between the GSA Inspector General’s Office and a GSA employee.

The employee indicated to the IG investigator that trip was not isolated and that there was another, longer junket scheduled for Hawaii this fall.

That one would be in Hilo, Hawaii for 10 days and would include groundbreakings for a federal building, a post office and perhaps a courthouse.

The transcript indicates that some of the GSA employees went snorkeling during their free time in the mornings.

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"And they were, I’m sure, working hard the whole time," the IG's office is quoted as saying.

"I doubt it," a GSA employee responded.

The House panel is one of two in the chamber that will hold hearings about the GSA scandal next week.

In October 2010, a GSA division spent more than $823,000 at an employee-training conference in Las Vegas. During the investigation and the release of the Inspector General's report this month, videos surfaced of employees do skits about the lavish spending.

Several top agency officials have resigned, including the agency chief, Martha Johnson.