$20,000 Spent on DOT Recreational Basketball Machines
Just days before the automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, went into effect in early March 2013, The Washington Free Beacon uncovered that the Department of Transportation and Department of the Interior had purchased recreational basketball rebound machines, totaling more than $20,000. Then, five days after the Department of Transportation purchased these rebound machines, called Shoot-A-Way's, Secretary Ray LaHood released a statement on the sequester and the consequences it would have on his department. Read the Full Article.
Spending In The News
- IRS Overspends on Conferences
- The Internal Revenue Service drew attention due to unique and allegedly excessive spending for its employee conferences, especially those from fiscal year 2010 to 2012. According to Politico, spending included $17,000 paid to a speaker who painted images of Michael Jordan and Bono. Read More on Spendopedia.
- Department of Energy (DOE) Car Batteries and Other Components
- A White House project called the Energy Security Trust, was investigated by Breitbart journalists in an effort to investigate green energy policy funding. The trust would funded by revenues collected from oil and gas leases on federal lands and according to the president, the project would not add to the deficit. It would fund new developments in car batteries, engines and bio-fuels, costing nearly $2 billion. Read More on Spendopedia.
- In July 2013 the U.S. State Department Inspector General (IG) issued an audit of the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) Office of Information Assurance. It was determined that the bureau, which was created to address information security, was wasteful and redundant and in need of oversight.
- In March 2011, Vehicle Production Group (VPG), a company that manufactures vans for the disabled, received a $50 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) through the same program that invested heavily in Fisker Automotive and Solyndra. In May 2013, VPG quietly fired its 100 employees and shut down operations. Although it has not filed for bankruptcy, taxpayers lost $42 million on the deal.
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has financially supported the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) since 2008. The project continued in spite of early warnings about the Ministry's lack of internal controls.
- On June 17, 2013, the Pentagon announced it planned to spend more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to buy helicopters and other aircraft for the Afghan Specials Mission Wing even though it knew the Afghan aviation team had neither the skills nor the number of troops necessary to maintain the equipment. The Huffington Post said, "These shortcomings mean the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft destined for the Afghan Special Mission Wing 'could be left sitting on runways in Afghanistan, rather than supporting critical missions, resulting in waste of U.S. funds.'"