Tag Archives: audit

NSF accused of misuse of funds in giant ecological project

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and a contractor have been accused by both an audit and by Congress of a significant misuse of funds in a major ecological monitoring project costing almost a half a billion dollars.

With a construction budget of $433.7 million, NEON is planned to consist of 106 sites across the United States. Arrays of sensors at each site will monitor climate change and human impacts for 30 years, building an unprecedented continental-scale data set. Although some initially doubted its merits, the allure of big-data ecology eventually won over most scientists.

But a 2011 audit of the project’s proposed construction budget stalled three times when, according to the independent Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), NEON’s accounting proved so poor that the review could not be completed. Eventually, DCAA issued an adverse ruling, concluding that nearly 36% of NEON’s budget proposal was questionable or undocumented.

When the NSF green-lit the project, the agency’s inspector-general ordered the audit released on 24 November, which found unallowable expenses including a $25,000 winter holiday party, $11,000 to provide coffee for employees, $3,000 for board-of-directors dinners that included alcohol, $3,000 for t-shirts and other clothes, $83,000 for “business development” and $112,000 for lobbying.

Republican members of Congress have since been attacking NSF for this lax management. And though the amount of funds apparently misused does not seem very large compared to the size of the entire contract, I am willing to bet that this audit only uncovered a tiny portion of the misuse. Based on the recent behavior of federal agencies, I would expect this to only be an indicator of much worst abuse that is still buried behind stone-walling.

A side note: Remember how only a few weeks ago the NSF head was claiming that a shortage of funds was the reason they were unable to cure ebola. What really happened was that they were too busy spending money having parties to do their job.

The IRS goes after Breitbart

Working for the Democratic Party: The IRS has targeted conservative outlet Breitbart News for an audit.

Though of course this audit could have been randomly picked by the IRS, if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. This is obviously an attempt by the Obama administration and its flunkies working at the IRS to harass another one of their opponents. For example, the audit notice demanded

a litany of documents, including logs of its receipts and expenses, but also its partnership agreement and a “written narrative” of the business.

From this statement by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) it turns out the IRS has also requested “personal income tax returns for each member of the company.” Consider that for a moment. Such a request suggests a fishing expedition by the IRS which will be followed by further audits of these individuals.

New emails provide more details of the IRS harassment of conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: New IRS emails reveal that the agency’s demand for donar lists was unnecessary according to the law and took place almost entirely against conservatives.

Worse, the donor lists were then used by the IRS to compile a list of conservatives to be audited.

Then-IRS Commissioner Miller initially testified to Congress on May 17, 2013 that “instructions had been given to destroy any donor lists,” but donor lists were actually produced to the House Ways and Means Committee four months later. The House Ways and Means Committee also announced at May 7, 2014 hearing that, after scores of conservative groups provided donor information “to the IRS, nearly one in ten donors were subject to audit.” In 2011, as many as five donors to one conservative (c)(4) organization were audited, according to the Wall Street Journal. [emphasis mine]

Apparently, the only reason these people were audited by the IRS is because they were contributors to conservative causes. In other words, the IRS was working to squelch the free speech rights of Americans who opposed the Democratic Party.

Read the whole article. There’s a lot more, such as proof that the claim by Lois Lerner and Barack Obama that the harassment was instigated solely by low level IRS employees was an outright lie. They didn’t misspoke. They didn’t misunderstand. They didn’t make a mistake. They lied, knowingly, consciously, and with forethought.

According to an audit, the former chief financial officer of the Mojave Air and Space Port provided 24 straight months of inaccurate accounting reports.

According to an audit, the former chief financial officer of the Mojave Air and Space Port provided 24 straight months of inaccurate accounting reports.

That officer also resigned abruptly the morning this audit began, and had “cleared out her apartment” just beforehand. Still, there is no hint yet of any theft or loss of funds, only incompetence.

The Chief Financial Officer of the spaceport there suddenly resigned without explanation, just as a financial audit was starting.

Trouble at Mojave? The Chief Financial Officer of the spaceport there suddenly resigned without explanation, just as a financial audit was starting.

The audit is still on-going, but it appears that the reports the CFO had submitted to the spaceport were at a minimum “inaccurate.”

Did the writings of a prominent Catholic professor, critical of Obama and Democratic Party policies, cause the IRS to audit her?

Did the writings of a prominent Catholic professor, critical of Obama and Democratic Party policies, cause the IRS to audit her? Key quote:

Her writings for the Catholic Advocate soon ceased because, Hendershott admits, the IRS audit silenced her. If her suspicions are true, this may have been its chilling intention. “I haven’t written for them since the audit, because I was so scared,” she said (records show her last article for the organization was on July 10, 2010 — the same month the IRS audit unfolded).

So far, she has only shared her story with friends and those close to her, but in light of the recent IRS scandal, she has decided to speak out. “It was clear they didn’t like me criticizing the people who helped pass Obamacare,” she said of the audit,” later adding, ”The IRS is very frightening.”

“It is unacceptable that HHS fails to maintain accurate financial records and fails to adhere to federal law designed to protect taxpayer dollars from mismanagement and waste.”

“It is unacceptable that HHS fails to maintain accurate financial records and fails to adhere to federal law designed to protect taxpayer dollars from mismanagement and waste.”

HHS is Health and Human Services, the federal department tasked with running Obamacare.

The important thing to note about this story is how completely normal it seems for a government agency like HHS to have significant problems keeping track of its money and operations. No one is ever surprised when a government agency is found incompetent in this manner, and in fact, it happens frequently. And yet, the President and the Democrats in Congress thought it perfectly reasonable to hand over control of healthcare to that same government.

Not only is this story further evidence that Obamacare should be repealed, it illustrates again how clueless the Democrats were who voted for it.

Occupy Richmond stands up for the Richmond Tea Party

Pigs fly! Occupy Richmond stands with the Richmond Tea Party against the city government.

After the city accused the Richmond Tea Party of being overdue on tax filings,Occupy Richmond issued a statement saying “it would not surprise us” if the move was “retaliation” for the Tea Party’s criticism of Mayor Dwight Jones. […] “The Tea Party and Occupy movements disagree on many, many issues,” Occupy Richmond’s Thursday statement said. “This should not stop all Americans from proudly standing together against government abuses.” [emphasis mine]

Kudos to Occupy Richmond for understanding that an attack on freedom is an attack against everyone, even if the attack happens to be aimed at your opponents.

This also once again illustrates how completely stupid and politically tone deaf the city’s action is against the Richmond Tea Party. It will garner the mayor and his minions nothing but grief.

Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party complained about the city government’s double standard about protests and demanded a refund for its costs, they received a letter that they are being audited.

Leftwing oppression: Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party complained about the city government’s double standard about protests — requiring the tea party to pay $8,500 in order to demonstrate but letting Occupy Richmond demonstrate for free while trespassing — they received a letter from the city announcing that they are being audited.

What amazes me is how tone deaf the Democratic Party officials running Richmond are, somehow thinking this is going to help them politically.

White House Emails Reveal Major Obamacare Accounting Fraud

Repeal it: White House emails have revealed an effort by the Obama administration in 2009 to coverup the accounting failures of the CLASS program within Obamacare.

Emails show that the first warning about CLASS came in May 2009, from Richard Foster, head of long range economic forecasts for Medicare. “At first glance this proposal doesn’t look workable,” Foster wrote in an email to other HHS officials, some of whom were working with Congress to get CLASS into the health care law. Foster said a rough outline of the program would have to enroll more than 230 million people — more than the U.S. workforce — to be financially feasible. But work on CLASS continued, bolstered by a report for AARP that laid out scenarios for implementing the plan. The AARP study also raised financial concerns, although the seniors’ lobby supports CLASS.

In July, Foster tried again. After reviewing the latest information from Kennedy’s office, he wrote HHS officials: “Thirty-six years of (professional) experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant federal subsidies to continue.” Too late. The Obama administration had decided to support CLASS. Documents and emails indicate that Foster was edged out of deliberations. [emphasis mine]