Homeland Security - Your Tax Dollars at Work
Oh well, what's another $34 billion to fight the "war on terror?"
The Homeland Security Department spent $34 billion in its first two years on private contracts that were poorly managed or included significant waste or abuse, a congressional report concluded Thursday.
Faulty airport screening machines, unused mobile homes for hurricane victims and lavish employee office space -- complete with seven kitchens, a gym and fancy artwork -- were among 32 contracts on which Homeland Security overspent, the report found.
"The cumulative costs to the taxpayer are enormous," concluded the report, which was prepared for Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who head the House Government Reform Committee.
The House report was a comprehensive study of more than 350 earlier-reported government audits and investigations of Homeland Security contracts between 2003, when the department was created, and 2005.
Still, the broad look found that Homeland Security's procurement spending ballooned from $3.5 billion, on 14,000 contracts, to $10 billion for 63,000 contracts during the two-year period. The report also concluded that half of what the department spent on contracts in 2005 was awarded without full and open competition -- creating potential waste and mismanagement.