Almost every western country is currently developing or has implemented plans to reduce administrative overheads and cost of government services. Often this happened by just reducing service levels and extent instead of looking for ways to spend the government money more wisely.
Sometimes such blunt tactics shed a light on the true intentions behind some of these “cost cuttings” – quick & dirty fixes, reduce social benefits and put even more pressure and fear into the majority of citizens.
Cost cuttings are seen across all areas of government services not stopping even with closing hospitals, fire services or massive cuts with other essential services.
A “Golden Calf” like the DoD budget that does not even pass an financial audit or pet projects of congress men are often excluded from such reviews. The worst of such projects, the notorious KBR LOGCAP contract to supply logistics to U.S. troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is (even publicly) known to be awash in fraud and waste. And with budgets now beyond USD 40 billion on this project alone one could expect finding savings of a few hundred million dollars to be an easy morning exercise.
But some congress men seem to have other ideas of saving government money.
They would instead like to cut the budgets of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to an extend that it most likely will hamper their current and future work. Anyone familiar with government blocking tactics might easily see what really could be behind that – no more finding of “real” waste across government programs.
GAO – a 90-year-old federal agency – that so far has returned USD 87 for every dollar invested, is recommending around USD 50 billion in savings every year and writes over 1,000 reports to Congress annually. About 80 percent of its recommendations over the past five years have been instituted (at least on paper). GAO has an annual budget of about USD 500 million – nothing compared to the savings generated and to other government agencies.
It would not be the first time that some in the U.S. government or even in international organizations within their walled gardens of lobbyism, notorious overspending, fraud and waste in their pet programs are seeing GAO as a big threat to their or their buddies coffers. Suggesting GAO budget cuts might on top of that be also driven by the hope that it diverts such activity away from them.
While anyone who has at least a basic understanding of management or how to efficiently use entrusted funds would in times like these substantially increase the budgets of an successful organization like GAO, those objecting such a proven and most likely successful move should demonstrate their true intentions by stopping to shield other programs off any scrutiny or budget cuts.
Others might go a step further asking if America can still afford to fight two wars it can not win, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the death toll rising to thousands of service men. And for every dead service (wo)man their families and communities are also affected. But when current budget cuts continue maybe soon each weapon fired, each grenade thrown in those wars might not kill that many insurgents but more Americans at home who lack food and health services due to the massive waste of billions within / surrounding those military programs and the lack of funds remaining for essential services at home.
More on the planned GAO budget cuts at Truthout.com. They are asking their readers to email Senator Nelson (link corrected) and tell them to restore the GAO cuts and invest in oversight instead of waste.
- Corruption: At least USD 13 Billion Iraq Aid wasted or stolen
- UK: How to waste the tax payer’s money
- USA: The never ending story of money motivated war crimes in Iraq continues
- USA: Congratulations on the one Millionth Terrorist
The Washington Post today (link below) has a very interesting report on fraud, corruption and waste surrounding the U.S. Iraq reconstruction program.
Salam Adhoob, the former chief investigator of the Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity (the equivalent to the U.S. FBI) estimated in a hearing of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee yesterday, that out of the about USD 50 Billion U.S. taxpayer money that has so far been disbursed to the Iraq reconstruction program, at least USD 13 Billion have been wasted or stolen through various fraud schemes.
The former chief investigator and head of a 200 strong auditors team was one of three Iraqis testifying before the committee yesterday – all providing evidence of widespread corruption and waste up to the point, as one of them said, that Iraqi government officials are financing al-Qaeda terrorists through some of these schemes.
An additional USD 9 Billion were estimated…
In times when governments – particularly in Europe – leave an ever growing number of their citizens after taxes and social security just with enough of their income to barely survive, more and more rumors and stories stories surface how bluntly this money is then blown by the administrators.
One might get the impression that the control mechanisms that once worked so-so…
What BBC’s popular political TV magazine Panorama yesterday night called the greatest heist in history or Daylight Robbery seems now to be going into another round of new discoveries.
In the more than one hour long broadcast Panorama’s Jane Corbin tells us some of the stories of those who became rich from the war and those who stood up against the crimes and “got burned”.
…If you believe that such corruption happens by pushing around brown envelopes with money under the table, sorry, but that might just be a very small part of it. We have compiled a short list of the most common activities identified within Iraq below. Some of them have also been mentioned in the report of Panorama yesterday night…
We have “recently reported” that Nobel Price Laureate Nelson Mandela has just – after years of diplomatic quarreling – been removed from the infamous US List of terrorist suspects.
Now this week ACLU is reporting another record related to this “list” – the list has just hit the size of one million records. Put this in relation to numbers reported on various other crimes from burglary to official war crime numbers together with the complete swipe of human / civil rights linked to that list and even a blind man should be able to see that there is something wrong here…