Maybe we should put the equipment on a milk carton.
An audit conducted by the Energy Department's Office of Inspector General was "unable to locate" $500,000 worth of equipment purchased with stimulus money by a recipient of funds distributed through the deparment's "Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program," according to an audit report published by the OIG.
The DOE said it would not be "appropriate" to release the name of stimulus-money recipient where the $500,000 worth of equipment could not be located.
The program was given nearly $2 billion in stimulus funds "to support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component
manufacturing plants." As of June, DOE had "expended" about $1.2 billion of that money and had made grants to "30 for-profit manufacturers," according to the July 10 audit report.
One of the three "conclusions and observations" the OIG made in the report is that more should be done to "ensure recipients adequately safeguard equipment purchased with federal funds," the audit states.
"We were unable to locate equipment purchased by one recipient totaling about $500,000," the audit states.
In an expanded section of the audit entitled "Safeguarding Assets," it states: "While recipients were required to have property accountability systems in place, one of the three recipients we reviewed had not maintained records detailing information such as the location of equipment purchased with Recovery Act funds.
"In the absence of detailed inventory records, we attempted to locate property using information contained in invoices," the audit states. "However, despite the assistance of recipient officials familiar with the premises and knowledgeable about the purchases made, we were unable to locate 20 of the 37 equipment items sampled.
I can hear liberals spinning this already: "You stupid conservatives, its only a half million dollars. Waste like this is expected in a $2 billion program. Get over it, it's just a "distraction."
Just how much missing equipment would it take before the situation was "unexpected?" One million? Five million? A hundred million?
The value should be in taking care of taxpayer's money, not the amount. Poor oversight by DoE led to this loss which means it was entirely preventable if there were competent management overseeing the program.
It's not the amount. It's the cavalier attitude toward the public purse.