July 23 2012
Department of Energy Loses $500,000 Worth of “Stimulus” Equipment—and Counting
Vicki E. Alger
There’s no denying President Obama’s “stimulus” created jobs—for government auditors. Here’s the latest.
An investigation by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General couldn’t find $500,000 worth of equipment bought with taxpayer dollars. As John Hayward writes for Human Events the equipment was purchased through the department’s Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program:
What’s the Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program? Well, they got $2 billion of your children’s money to “support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component manufacturing plants.” …
The equipment cannot be located because one of the Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program beneficiaries didn’t bother to fill out the advanced, hybrid paperwork “detailing information such as the location of equipment purchased with Recovery Act funds.” The Energy Department refuses to identify the company in question. …
Actually, there could be more than half a million bucks’ worth of hybrid battery whatever missing, because the auditor’s report says that “despite the assistance of recipient officials familiar with the premises and knowledgeable about the purchases made, we were unable to locate 20 of the 37 equipment items sampled. The missing items were valued at approximately $500,000.” It doesn’t sound as if they’ve been able to inventory everything yet, just a “sample.”
Amusingly, the audit report notes that “Regulations currently require for-profit recipients to follow best commercial practices, but do not define such practices. One recipient in our sample had purchased about $24 million in equipment and services without adequately documenting purchasing decisions.”
Wonder what would happen to regular Joe and Jane taxpayer if they followed the same “best” practices when filing their taxes?