Thursday, June 30, 2005

Feel Safer Yet? Part 6

The Homeland Security Department is supposed to look out for terrorists. But it seems they can't even spot con artists -- er, contractors -- taking advantage of the Department to get to your tax money. A new frederal audit questions $303 million of $741 million spent to hire passenger screeners. The Washington Post has a great graphic showing what your tax dollars paid for. Among the items found in the audit:

  • $526.95 for one phone call from a Hyatt Regency in Chicago to Iowa City
  • $1,180 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee -- $3.69 a cup
  • $1,540 to rent 14 extension cords at $5 each per day for three weeks

The Defense Contract Audit Agency crunched the numbers. They found contractors charging Uncle Sam $48 an hour for $20 an hour temps, $377,000 in unsupported long-distance charges, and $4.4 million in "no show" fees for job applicants who never showed up. (WashPost)

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