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Friday, October 18, 2013

Energy Dept. Paid Up To $100 Million For Contractors to Party

Your Tax Dollars At Work !

The Obama administration's program to develop clean energy technology has hit another snag---government waste, or in this case contractor waste on the taxpayer's dime. The Washington Times is reporting that Energy Dept. Contractors working on the development of a hydrogen fuel cell have been using taxpayer cash to pay for food, drinks and entertainment, according to new findings from federal investigators.

Since Obama took office the Energy Department has $1 billion into developing a hydrogen fuel cell.  The department's  inspector general reports that 10% of that budget may have been wasted by contractor "partying."

"Funds spent on questionable and/or unallowable costs may reduce the amount available to complete project objectives and represents wasted and misused taxpayer dollars," the IG said.

Investigators found that contractors billed the government for travel expenses, lodging, meals, drinks, inappropriate salaries and entertainment. One person even got money for legal fees related to a fight for control of their company.

The IG said Energy Department officials had excellent oversight of the technical parts of the project — but turned a blind eye toward the nonscientific expenses.

Department officials "generally relied on certifications from subcontractor officials as to the appropriateness of the costs claimed rather than conducting their own reviews or obtaining more detailed support," the IG said.
The IG audit took a sample of $68 million and found $6.6 million to be wasted.
Though the IG's investigators said they could not extrapolate that the amount was the same across all the fuel cell programs, they were concerned that the rate of wasted taxpayer dollars could be high.

The misspent funds included a contractor who gave $1 million to subcontracting companies owned by family members or in which the contractor had a financial interest.
This revelation comes on top of other recent government waste exposed in the IRS, the Government Accounting Office and elsewhere.

This is not necessarily an issue confined to the Obama administration. The real problem permeates throughout our government where there is an arrogant mindset that tax payer revenues belong to the government as opposed to the people.

Only by trimming the size of government can we reduce wasteful spending.

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