March 12 2010
Vicki E. Alger
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan vowed this year's $47 billion department budget would advance reform and cut waste. Apparently Big ED isn't kidding.
His department is buying 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns, which must be compatible with ED's existing shotgun inventory-"all new, no re-manufactured products, thank you," says the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is the education department's law enforcement arm and "is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms."
The OIG would not provide any examples of using firearms while cracking down on fraud. Still, knowing that the OIG is packing may help deter would-be crooks.