Ever wonder where some of the monies used to help out the folks in the gulf after that Deep Horizon oil rig went to? Wonder no more! Sharon Theimer of the Associated Press has done some digging and come up with the following items:
1. The Federal government hired a New Orleans man for $18,000 to appraise whether news stories about it's actions in the Gulf oil spill were positive or negative for the Obama administration, which was keenly sensitive to comparisons between it's response and former President George W. Bush's much-maligned reaction to hurricane Katrina.
2. The government also spent $10,000 for just over three minutes of video showing a routine offshore rig inspection for news organizations but couldn't say whether any ran the footage! And it awarded a $216,625 no-bid contract for a survey of seabeds to an environmental group thathas critized what it call's "the extreme anti-conservation record" of Sarah Palin, a possible 2012 rival to President Barack Obama.
3. As of Monday September 13, 2010,the administration has released details of about $142 million in contracts, a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars it has spent so far. BP has reimbursed the U.S. $390 million, company spokesman Tom Mueller said. The government sent BP a new invoice for $128.5 million last week. The contracts the government has disclosed so far include at least %5.8 million for helicopter services, $3.1 million for lodging, $1.4 million for boat charters, $225,000 for water-testing devices, including some used on ships, $457, 570 for cellular and satellite phone services, $25, 217 for laundry services and $109,735 for refrigerators and freezers.
4. Yet the government's new contracting data includes errors and vague entries that make it difficult to identify wasteful spending. It spent $52,000 on a boat charter described merely as "marine charter for things", with no further explanation. A seperate $90,000 contract for a single 70-pound anchor is listed incorrectly; the contractor told the AP it actually supplied hundreds of anchors.
Is anyone else sick and tired of the stories of contractors bilking the government (you and I) out of hundreds of thousands of dollars? What about the government spending our money willy-nilly? How can we get more transparency and HONESTY from our government regarding contracts?