Congress Says DHS Oversaw $15 Billion in Failed Contracts
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 17, 2008; D02
In the five years since it was created, the Department of Homeland Security has overseen roughly $15 billion worth of failed contracts for projects ranging from airport baggage-screening to trailers for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, according to congressional data to be released today.
The contracts wound up over-budget, delayed or canceled after millions of dollars had already been spent, according to figures and documents prepared by the House Committee on Homeland Security. A panel of experts is to testify today before the House Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight on how to fix problems with the DHS acquisitions process.
The six-member panel includes an acquisition director from the Government Accountability Office, leaders of watchdog groups and the deputy inspector general for DHS.
A panel of experts is preparing to fix a rudderless $50 billion boondoggle that is a construct of ditherers, a repository of contractual waste and a governmental black-hole into which are thrown all the preposterous (but privately profitable) schemes of the connected.
The watchword in Washington has become “are you a connected guy?” It’s like the Mafia.
Close the bloody thing down. Send everybody home. Take these 260,000 employees who do little else but bump into each other on the way to staff meetings and put them to building roads. Or even occupied with what we used to do in boot camp–dig a hole and fill it up again. A least they would be Hippocratically committed to doing no harm.
These people whom Michael Chertoff has clutched to his bureaucratic bosom are harm-doers. I’m certain that they are all people who love dogs and children, have families and mortgages and chase married women no more that the average. But they continue to do harm to the country, while losing $1.5 million an hour in the process.
Not spending it, losing it. If they were merely spending it, we could survive. They spend at fifteen or twenty times that rate. God knows on what. A major portion of it must be their own worthless salaries.
For god’s sake, people, the Customs Department used to run itself, without any outside interference. Let the Coast Guard be responsible for its own overspending on shipbuilding–why do they need help with that?
A six-member panel will recommend band-aids. Send them home. Do what any rancher would do with an incurably lame horse–shoot it.