Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Fla., announced a whistle blower report that an obscure agency in the Commerce Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), spent millions of taxpayer dollars on a conference near Disney World.
“According to the information I have received, the NIST MEP most recently spent anywhere between three and five million dollars on an annual conference at a resort near Walt Disney World in Florida,” Adams wrote in a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Fla., in which she requested a hearing into the matter.
Adams compared the NIST MEP conference to the recent discovery that the General Services Administration spent over $800,000 on a Las Vegas conference. “On the heels of discovering the General Services Administration’s misuse of taxpayer funds, Congress has a duty to provide oversight and hold these government agencies accountable,” she said in a statement. “I encourage the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold a joint hearing to look into the NIST’s potential abuses immediately.”
NIST-MEP describes itself “as a public/private partnership [that] delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every one dollar of federal investment, the MEP generates around $30 in new sales growth.” MEP has a $128 million budget, according to Adams.