A Florida congresswoman says she just discovered another government waste scandal. U.S. Representative Sandy Adams (R-Orlando) says she has evidence of egregious and irresponsible spending right here in Central Florida.
An engineering and research division within the Commerce Department called NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) held a conference in Orlando in May. Adams says her evidence shows the conference cost significant tax dollars without obvious benefits for taxpayers.
In May, NIST invited partners and manufacturers to Orlando's Marriot World Resort for training and an awards show.
FOX 13 confirmed NIST committed $670,845 in federal funds to the 2012 Orlando conference. The 2011 conference cost taxpayers $580,989.
NIST invites partners and manufacturers to this annual conference for training purposes.
Adams points out photos from the conference showing live bands, seafood bars and prime rib dinners.
A spokeswoman for NIST said most of the attendees were not federal workers. She said private sponsors covered catering and entertainment, and the $670,000 in tax money covered travel and logistics.
Adams says that's not the point. She says our government is spending way too much on travel, and she has written at least two letters demanding a Congressional investigation into NIST travel expenditures.
U.S. Rep Sandy Adams' letter demanding an investigation:
Response from NIST:
"The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has held a conference in Orlando, Florida, at the Orlando World Center Marriot annually since 2006 in order to provide workshops and training for non-federal, employees of the 400 MEP affiliated centers across the country, as well as education and networking for manufacturers and industry experts."
"No federal funds were spent on catering, entertainment, or alcohol. Any reception and entertainment associated with this conference were paid for entirely by private sector resources."
National Institute on Standards and Technology website:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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