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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Energy Department pays out millions for contractors’ food, drink -- By Phillip Swarts, The Washington Times

A federal program designed to foster clean energy technology has produce a toxic by-product: fiscal waste.

Government contractors working to develop a renewable car battery have been using taxpayer money to pay for food, drinks and entertainment, according to new findings from federal investigators.

In the past five years, the Energy Department has poured more than $1 billion into developing a hydrogen fuel cell. But the agency's the inspector general warns that 10 percent of that total might have been wasted by contractors' wining and dining.

"Funds spent on questionable and/or unallowable costs may reduce the amount available to complete project objectives and represents wasted and misused taxpayer dollars," the IG said.

Investigators found that contractors billed the government for travel expenses, lodging, meals, drinks, inappropriate salaries and entertainment. One person even got money for legal fees related to a fight for control of their company.

The IG said Energy Department officials had excellent oversight of the technical parts of the project — but turned a blind eye toward the nonscientific expenses.

Department officials "generally relied on certifications from subcontractor officials as to the appropriateness of the costs claimed rather than conducting their own reviews or obtaining more detailed support," the IG said.

The report of waste has attracted attention on Capitol Hill.
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