Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reducing Fraud and Waste = Terrorist

Want more proof that the george w. bush administration labels as "terrosists" anyone who doesn't agree with them?

Doan compared Miller and his staff to terrorists, according to a copy of the notes obtained by The Washington Post.

"There are two kinds of terrorism in the US: the external kind; and, internally, the IGs have terrorized the Regional Administrators," Doan said, according to the notes.

"Doan" is Lurita Alexis Doan, Administrator of the General Services Administration. GSA manages contracts, real estate and all sorts of other stuff for the Federal government. Brian Miller is the Inspector General of the GSA - he's the person responsible for reducing fraud and waste, and conducting audits and contract reviews.

Why is Doan saying Miller is a terrorist? Because he won't knuckle under to Doan's attempts to reduce his audit and inspection budget, nor is he willing to allow "shifting some responsibility for contract reviews to small, private audit contractors"... which, for the bushies, means no-bid contracts for Halliburton and Bechtel to investigate their own fraudulent and/or wasteful activities.

What are their respective backgrounds? Doan is a bush political appointee and former government contractor; Miller was a Federal prosecutor (he worked on the Moussaoui case).

Why is the Inspector-General concept so important (especially these days)?

Inspector general's offices were given by Congress a mandate to operate as independent watchdogs in the executive branch, working on behalf of taxpayers to guard against wasteful spending. The Inspector General Act of 1978 stated: "Neither the head of the establishment nor the officer next in rank below such head shall prevent or prohibit the Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation."

The GSA inspector general's office's audits have helped the agency recover billions of dollars in recent years from flawed or fraudulent contracts. Some vendors and government workers have complained that the audits have made contracting more cumbersome than necessary. [Emphasis added]

Yeah, I bet the OIG's have made contracting more cumbersome - you have to show results, not just pay a bribe.

Another brilliant point from Doan's complaining:

Since 2000, the number of employees in the inspector general's office has grown from 297 to 309, according to the office.

Yup, they've added twelve -- count 'em, TWELVE --employees in six years, as opposed to the much more modest growth in, say, the Department of Homeland Security: as of August, 2003 -- six months after it was established -- DHS had 160,000 employees - or 8% of ALL Federal employees. God only knows how many there are now... I tried Googling "total DHS staffing" and found everything but.

Here's the money quote, from John C. Lebo, a former GSA/OIG budget official:

"The Administrator's Office wants to change the IG's overall approach from independently rooting out crime, fraud and abuse, to one in which the OIG is a team player working with GSA."

Yup, that sounds like the bush administration, all right.


  1. I think I'm counted in that 8%, although I have only cashed one check and that was for bioterrorism training at the Alabama facilty. (My emergency respinse kit's bigger than yours!) (Just kidding.:)

    Anyway, I have practical advice up for saving ones own ass. Here is the Link if anyone is interested.

  2. And you should see the size of my emergency response kit, too...

  3. About Doan's GSA ...

    As a former (career) fed, who left federal service certified as a level II contracting officer, I can tell you that the issues Doan is complaining about affect politically appointed staff who are challenged to follow rule that require a fair and unbiased award in procurement activities. Her suggestions to cut the IG budget is a recipe for disaster. IG officers can find no flaw with procurement actions made under and according to the Federal Acquisition Rules. It is the politically appointed staffs whose decisions circumvent the rules on what awards are given to what contractors., career staff simply do not have the authority.

    Given GSA's dismal accounting during ’07 for having followed the rules when making awards, I think we have to be very careful about reducing the funding or staffing of IG offices. Think about it, last year alone, GSA awarded more than $5 Billion dollars stipulated for award to small businesses to large business instead. And Doan doesn’t even bother to talk about that abuse.

    I think Doan has to be held accountable by the IG, by Congressional Accountability Office, and by her boss. Without the IG or Congress, we taxpayes can expect very little oversight from her or her boss, as has been demonstrated by Administrative initiatives that support the Iraqi war and the Katrina response.

    So give us taxpayes a break Doan, if you cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen.