The General Services Administration gave out more than $160,000 in bonuses to senior executives based over a three-year period on votes of confidence from colleagues, a violation of federal regulation, according to the agency’s inspector general.
A new report from Inspector General Brian Miller found the “Peer-2-Peer” awards lacked transparency and hid some of its practices from the Office of Personnel Management.
GSA treated Peer-2-Peer awards as performance-based awards, which would have had to be included with the annual performance bonus. That, however, did not happen here, as the Peer-2-Peer awards were given separately and were not authorized by any legal authority for performance-based awards.
The bonuses were also not properly vetted through the appropriate channels, the report says.
Miller’s report is in response to the conference spending scandal that rocked GSA last year, resulting in the resignation of then-Administrator Martha Johnson and the firing of other top agency leaders.
The executives in the middle of the scandal received bonuses even as the conference was under investigation. Miller and his staff set out to explore whether this practice went beyond the scandal, which it did.
In total, 71 executives received 702 “Peer-2-Peer” performance bonuses with one employee receiving as much as $3,200.