Government waste abounds

eyeglasses and newspaper blue background

There’s never a dull moment when chronicling or exposing excessive government waste. In today’s world, examples aren’t hard to find since our federal government continues to spend money faster each year.

Enter the Department of Energy. A new Washington Examiner report[1] reveals how an update to the agency’s phone system cost taxpayers $56 million. It’s possible the antiquated regulatory behemoth is just struggling to keep up in this fast-paced, high-tech world. It’s more likely that inter-agency coordination was the problem.

DOE was trying to install a new internet-based telephone system, but coordination across multiple departments proved too difficult. Various offices were installing different programs, making the costly system pretty much unusable.

According to the Inspector General report, “The issues identified occurred, in part, because the Department had not developed and implemented a coordinated approach to support the implementation of the VoIP efforts.”

And there you have it. $56 million down the drain.

A program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t faring much better. According to[2] HUD’s own inspector general, a $353 million program designed to help federal officials manage public housing assistance only “created further opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.” The IG even went so far as to call the program “detrimental” to HUD’s mission.

Meanwhile, our national debt continues to explode. Washington’s spending is out of control. And while a paltry $353 million in the grand scheme of $17 trillion, every little bit helps. Maybe it’s time to put wasteful programs on the budget chopping block once and for all.