Saturday, December 02, 2006

GSA chief - Inspector General doing too good a job

This story brings up the old gag reflex
The new chief of the U.S. General Services Administration is trying to limit the ability of the agency's inspector general to audit contracts for fraud or waste and has said oversight efforts are intimidating the workforce, according to government documents and interviews.

GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan, a Bush political appointee and former government contractor, has proposed cutting $5 million in spending on audits and shifting some responsibility for contract reviews to small, private audit contractors.
She denies it now, but it's been reported she called the IG and his staff terrorists. She also said the IG was being "unsupportive of recent changes" and said vendors and government contracting officials had reported that his auditors and investigators were exerting "undue pressure." Oh those poor beleaguered defense contractors. It must be really tough to cheat the taxpayers when someone is always looking over your shoulder.

Doan claims her main concern is balancing her agency's budget.
Soon after Doan was nominated to lead the GSA this spring, she promised outside vendors that she would make contracting with the agency much easier for both government bureaucrats and corporations. After she assumed the post, she began trimming the budget proposal of the inspector general's office. She wrote in her annual report that the office's budget and staff had "grown annually and substantially" in the past five years.

Since 2000, the number of employees in the inspector general's office has grown from 297 to 309, according to the office.
Holy Toledo. Twelve new employees and how many GOP legislators have been convicted of fraud in the last five years, not to mention the dozens of unindicted politicians that Jack Abramoff claims to have paid off? Not to mention the billions of dollars in fraud the office has uncovered. Funny, it sounds pretty efficient to me. But of course that's the real problem.

As Josh Marshall reminds us, "Although the Post story doesn't mention it, you might recall that David Safavian, the chief of staff at the GSA earlier in the Bush presidency, was convicted for, among other things, lying to the GSA inspector general about his connections to Jack Abramoff. So of course we need less oversight."

Really, all these indictments are seriously impinging on the honest pursuit of graft and corruption.
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