Government waste

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Pentagon Finds $125B in Internal Waste, Kills Report

DOD official was warned when requesting study: 'You are about to turn on the light in a very dark room'

(Newser) - The good news: A Pentagon-requested study on administrative waste turned up plenty of fodder for officials to work with in streamlining operations. The bad news: The study found so much internal waste—$125 billion worth—that Pentagon officials seemingly tried to squash it, based on interviews and secret memos seen... More »

TSA Paid $47K for App That Just Showed an Arrow

The arrow could point left or right, though

(Newser) - Today's SMH story comes courtesy of the TSA, who Mashable reports paid IBM $47,400 for "software so simple" that creating it would have been well within the reach of a novice app developer. The revelation comes by way of Kevin Burke , who filed a FOIA request in... More »

Pentagon Blew $150M on Afghan Villas, Fine Dining

Cost would have been closer to ... nothing, had staff stayed at military base

(Newser) - First the Pentagon poured $43 million into an Afghan gas station that should've cost $500,000. Now it's under fire for putting up a "handful" of staff and visitors in private Afghan villas, as well as shelling out for private bodyguards and fine dining—running up a... More »

The US Totally Blew $3M on Boats for Afghanistan

Afghanistan is landlocked, the boats were abnormally expensive, and more

(Newser) - The US has wasted money in many ways in the Afghan war, but the Washington Post highlights a particularly egregious one revealed by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction yesterday: The US spent $3 million in 2010 to buy the Afghan police eight patrol boats. That works out to... More »

Government Spent $172M on Penis Pumps

At double the retail price per pump

(Newser) - Between 2006 and 2011, Medicare spent $172 million on penis pumps, according to a report out Monday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. That figure is outrageous for a reason other than that you might think. As NBC News reports, penis pumps, more properly... More »

Military Will Never Use New $34M Afghanistan Base

Critics say it's the most glaring boondoggle in a war full of them: Washington Post

(Newser) - When a two-star general visited the new 64,000-square-foot US military headquarters building at Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan, he was impressed. It's "better appointed than any Marine headquarters anywhere in the world," he tells the Washington Post , before adding, "What the hell were they thinking?"... More »

Audit: Feds Have Lousy Oversight of Climate Funds

Tens of millions being allocated, with little accountability

(Newser) - An obscure agency of the State Department has doled out tens of millions of dollars around the world for programs designed to fight climate change, but it's done a remarkably bad job of making sure the money isn't being wasted, according to an internal audit picked up by... More »

It's Not Just Waste: Fraud Rampant at GSA

It clawed back $376M last year

(Newser) - The General Services Administration's Vegas shindig was just the tip of the iceberg. The GSA is so loaded with cash that it's a magnet for fraud and abuse, the Los Angeles Times reports. From October 2010 to September 2011 alone, the agency prosecuted 64 cases in which people... More »

Prime Sign of California Waste: Kangaroo Report

And Gov. Jerry Brown wants it, 717 other reports, eliminated

(Newser) - If Gov. Jerry Brown has his way, California's lawmakers will soon find themselves much less informed about pertinent topics like Australia's annual kangaroo harvest and the DOT's use of waste tires. Brown ordered that state agencies and departments be audited at the end of last year, and... More »

GSA Officials Did 1 Hour of Work on 7-Day Hawaii Trip

Flew out on a Saturday, returned on Friday to attend ribbon-cutting

(Newser) - The General Services Administration is truly the gift that keeps on giving , at least for those who love tales of government malfeasance. Rep. John Mica yesterday revealed another juicy tidbit born from the probe into the agency, reports The Hill . A number of GSA officials traveled to Hawaii on a... More »

GSA Nixes New Vegas Conference

Sin City conference canceled in wake of uproar

(Newser) - In the wake of all the uproar over its $822,000 conference in Las Vegas in 2010, the General Services Administration has decided it may not be a good idea to return to Sin City this year, the Washington Post reports. Thus, the GSA axed "GreenUP 2012 Training Conference... More »

US Agency's Vegas Scandal: They Had a Talent Contest

The winner rapped about government excess ... seriously

(Newser) - One last cherry on top of that $822,000 Vegas party thrown by the General Services Administration that cost three top officials their jobs: They had a talent contest. Better yet: The winner of the contest is a ukulele-playing federal employee who made a six-minute video in which he raps... More »

Federal Heads Roll Over $822K Vegas Party

Waste included $6K in coins honoring GSA's work on stimulus

(Newser) - What happens in Vegas ... has come back to bite a federal agency that decided to throw itself an $822,000 conference that was every bit as posh as it was ill-advised. Martha Johnson, the administrator of the General Services Administration, has quit over the brouhaha, acknowledging in her resignation letter... More »

Kiss $1 Coins Goodbye

US Mint will stop attempting to circulate unpopular coins

(Newser) - The US government has caught on, once again, to the fact that nobody really likes $1 coins, and it will cut production of the latest version. The coins, bearing the likenesses of dead presidents, were mandated by Congress in 2005 and began production in 2007. But government vaults have built... More »

On Way Out, Medicare Boss Bashes 'Extreme' Waste

Donald Berwick says 20-30% of health care spending helps no one

(Newser) - Between 20% and 30% of all US health care spending is pure “waste,” according to departing Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald Berwick. “Much is done that does not help patients at all, and many physicians know it,” Berwick said in an interview with the New York ... More »

I Want 20% Less Spending on Swag: Obama

Tasks federal agencies with trimming the fat in four other areas, too

(Newser) - If you happen to be sipping from a promotional coffee cup bestowed on you by a federal agency, hang on to it: You might not be getting a new one anytime soon. As part of his "We Can't Wait" campaign, President Obama will today announce his latest effort:... More »

Alaska to Build $64M 'Runway to Nowhere'

Akutan strip will mostly be funded by federal taxpayers

(Newser) - Meet the Bridge to Nowhere’s little brother. Alaska is preparing to build a $64 million, 4,500-foot runway on tiny Akun Island, with the federal government footing the vast majority of the bill ($59 million to the state’s $5 million), according to an Alaska Dispatch report spotted by... More »

Feds Axing Half of .Gov Websites

Sites cut in campaign to cut waste

(Newser) - The federal government is planning to ax or consolidate nearly half of its 2,000 websites in an effort to cut waste and make it easier to find information online. The plan, part of a larger campaign to cut waste, will see close to a quarter of the .gov sites... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

Christie Takes State Chopper to Son's Baseball Game... he can take it back and meet with Iowa GOP

(Newser) - Chris Christie, known for his aversion to government waste, used a New Jersey State Police helicopter yesterday afternoon to attend son Andrew's high school baseball game. Christie and first lady Mary Pat Christie were met at the adjacent football field, reports the Star-Ledger, and driven the remaining 100 yards... More »

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