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Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006, 10:19 pm

Heckuva Job Chertoff

By Brian Zick
Eric Lipton for the NY Times reports: Homeland Security Department Is Accused of Credit Card Misuse.

[T]he investigators found that 45 percent of purchases did not have appropriate preauthorization by supervisors and that 63 percent did not include documentation stating whether the goods or services had been received.
(...)
One employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the department, spent $7,790 on a 63-inch plasma monitor, which sat for six months, unused, in its original carton.

Another FEMA employee spent $68,442 on the 2,000 dog boots, which were intended to protect the paws of search dogs on rescue operations; the boots ended up in a FEMA warehouse and have not been used.

A Coast Guard cardholder bought the beer brewing kit, which officials explained was “a quality product for official parties attended by cadets, dignitaries and other guests,” but which the auditors called “abusive and questionable.”
(...)
Auditors also found that officials from Customs and Border Protection spent $2,492 on rain jackets for use at a firing range, even though the firing range is usually closed when it rains. And Secret Service officers spent $7,000 on iPods, which the agency explained were intended to serve as data storage devices, an explanation the auditors found unconvincing.
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Actually, the name of Michael Chertoff, who is Secretary of Homeland Security - and the senior official whom one might expect would be the person to be held accountable - does not appear even once in the article. Curious that.

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