"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Those $600 Toilet Seats Are Starting To Look Like a Bargain 

Keeping you safer, one boondoggle at a time:
The money was spent in the name of improving security at the nation's airports:

· $526.95 for one phone call from the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago to Iowa City.

· $1,180 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee -- $3.69 a cup -- at the Santa Clara Marriott in California.

· $1,540 to rent 14 extension cords at $5 each per day for three weeks at the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.

· $8,100 for elevator operators at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.

· $5.4 million claimed for nine months' salary for the chief executive of an "event logistics" firm that received a contract before it was incorporated and went out of business after the contract ended.

Those details are contained in a federal audit that calls into question $303 million of the $741 million spent to assess and hire airport passenger screeners for the newly created Transportation Security Administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The audit, along with interviews with people involved in the passenger-screener contract, paints a rare and detailed portrait of how officials at the fledgling agency lost control of the spending in the pell-mell rush to hire 60,000 screeners to meet a one-year congressional deadline.

(Hat tip to Rising Hegemon.)

 

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