Social Security spends $700,000 on Phoenix conference

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PHOENIX -- A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.

Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.

A spokesperson outside the SSA's Phoenix office declined to comment.
Social Security spends $700,000 on Phoenix conference - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | ABC15.com



PHOENIX – A $700,000 management conference held by the Social Security Administration in Phoenix last week continues to draw new national attention.

It all comes on the heels of an ABC15 investigation.
The SSA letter refers to the Phoenix conference as "The San Francisco Region Management Training Forum."

Social Security Regional Commissioner Peter Spencer earlier told ABC News that staff members needed to learn how to reduce stress because of a growing number of death threats made against them.
"It's unsurprising that a massive government agency would fall victim to an 'entitlement mentality,'" said Arizona Congressman Trent Frank. "This is clearly a case of sheltered bureaucrats forgetting that they work for the American people and deciding that the taxpayers' money is their own personal bankroll."
The letter says the purpose of the forum was, "to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the Social Security Administration's service provided to the American public by providing substantive training for managers."

However, all signage at the Biltmore referred to the conference as, "2009 Management Tango."

On Thursday, the United States Senate Finance committee also requested the Inspector General audit the entire contracting process used by Social Security to select the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa for their conference.

"It's especially frustrating when you have people who truly are disabled who will wait years just to get their case heard and years more just to get a little help," said Congressman Brady. "When they see the government and the agency wasting their money like this, I know it makes them angry and I know it really frustrates them."
Social Security responds after $700K Phoenix conference - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | ABC15.com
 

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