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When Bureaucrats Give Taxpayers Indigestion

Having worked for the federal government myself, I know firsthand that most federal employees work hard, and try doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. Consequently, this story last week in the Washington Examiner caused real heartburn.

According to the Examiner's Rudy Takala, the federal government "doled out billions despite shoddy paperwork." He writes:

"Staff at the National Institutes of Health continued funding for projects that failed to submit required progress reports on time, according to a report issued by the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services, and a majority of division heads didn't verify whether their staff had even reviewed the reports.

"The IG conducted a random sampling of grants distributed in 2011. "NIH approved 13 percent of awards for funding despite the fact that the awardee did not provide required information regarding its progress towards project objectives," the agency stated in its findings.

"If that percentage held steady in 2014, it would have applied to 6,764 of 52,034 grants issued by the NIH that year, totaling $2.73 billion of the $21 billion handed out for those projects.

"Division heads in 11 of the 27 "Institutes and Centers" comprising the NIH stated that they did nothing to ensure that their staff had reviewed the required reports, calling into question whether project managers really needed to make any progress in order to retain their federal funding.

:The IG found that the NIH continued to fund four projects that altogether removed or failed to meet their goals, at a combined cost of $7.2 million. Because no written documentation is required for funding decisions made by NIH staff, the reasons funding continued were unclear."

Takala included the following comment in his report:

"Curtis Kalin, a spokesman for taxpayer watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste, told the Washington Examiner that NIH had been "skirting the rules" and that it indicated their "flippant attitude" when it came to allocating federal dollars. Ensuring that "federal programs meet their goals is one of the most basic safeguards against wasteful spending," Kalin said."

We encourage all Growls readers to express their outrage at this latest example of government waste. Find out what your Congress Critter is doing to stop the waste and abuse of your hard-earned taxes. Contact information is available at Thomas (use left-hand column). Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County, can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -  write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Ask for a written response, and tell them ACTA sent you.

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