JULY 19, 2006
Serious fraud in the spending of federal taxpayer money is rampant among Department of Homeland Security employees who have charged hundreds of thousands of dollars on their government-issued credit cards to purchase outrageous things like a beer-brewing kit, plasma televisions and fancy music equipment.
An investigation ordered by members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs reveals rampant negligence among supervisors in the 22 agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security in controlling the waste and abuse among thousands of employees.
Many of them went on spending sprees with taxpayer dollars, charging $435 million with the credit cards in 2005, compared to $296 million the previous year. They purchased things like dog booties for $68,442, three portable shower units for $71,170 from a contractor who admitted overcharging the government, music equipment for $7,000 and a beer-brewing kit for $1,000 for the coast guard to brew alcohol for social events. One agency bought 37 designer rain jackets for $2,500 and another spent $2,395 for rooms at a lavish resort.
Additionally, one of the department’s agencies lost 107 laptops and 22 printers worth $170,000 and more than half of the 20 boats purchased for $208,000 for post hurricane operations.
A Homeland Security spokesman actually said that “we take very seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” adding that the department will begin enforcing new spending guidelines in the next few weeks.
The damage has been done, however, and it appears that the so-called investigation will end with the senate committee report and no official will be held accountable. Radio Left may have a point in saying that the problem with Homeland Security since its inception has been the appointment of incompetents and cronies.
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