FAA Audit Reveals Improper Spending

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This may come as a shock, but the U.S. government may be mismanaging your hard-earned tax dollars. The General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report last week stemming from a federal audit triggered by improper spending by FAA officials in Alaska. According to the Associated Press, the investigation revealed that millions of dollars were involved in questionable spending elsewhere in the U.S. The GAO discovered over $6 million in improper expenditures via federally issued purchase cards. The report found that the Airways Facilities Division bought extravagant computers, a $370,000 security system that didn't work and expensive personal digital assistants for any employee requesting one. "In addition, over half of the asset purchases -- such as computers and other equipment -- that GAO examined had not been recorded in FAA's property system, increasing the risk of loss or theft," the GAO said in its report summary. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) asked the GAO to investigate an Alaskan office of the FAA after he was contacted by union members last May about questionable purchases there. "I do not consider gift cards to Wal-Mart and Waterford crystal to fall within the realm of legitimate government spending," Young said last week. "The committee will watch this issue closely, and I strongly encourage FAA to improve their procedures at the Alaska office and the other offices around the country," he warned.

Note: You can read the complete GAO report at their Web site, in Adobe's PDF format.