Why Does Energy Dept. Spend $50 Million a Year on Contractors’ Travel?
At a time when federal agencies have been ordered by the White House to cut down on travel costs, the U.S. Department of Energy has allowed contractors to spend $50 million a year on trips.
The Energy Department’s inspector general (IG) found that of the $361 million allocated on travel over the past six years, contractors spent 85% of the funds. This averaged out to a little more than $50 million annually.
Energy officials were criticized by the IG for not doing more to control contractors’ travel, which involved more than 90,000 international trips during the six years reviewed.
In one instance, the agency paid more than $100,000 for 45 contract employees to attend an engine-combustion conference in Poland in July. In addition to the usual lectures and presentations, the six-day event featured a “gala dinner,” a Chopin concert and tours of Warsaw and the Polish royal castle, as well as a day trip to the city of Krakow.
To Learn More:
Energy Department Spent $360 Million on Foreign Travel, Vast Majority by Contractors (by Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post)
The Department of Energy's Management of Foreign Travel (U.S. Department of Energy, Inspector General) (pdf)
Energy Dept. Spent $89 Billion without Checking Contractors’ Past Records (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Contractor Approved Funding for Own Government Contract (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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