Livin' Large

It seems the contract managers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) like a good party. Who doesn't, right? Only they apparently took things a little too far, generally on the taxpayer's dime.

In a new audit, the Department of Energy Inspector General's office found that the lab managers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on on food, booze and even cigars at conferences. One of those fetes was an afternoon social at a yacht club. Much of that spending was never approved ahead of time.

It seems that some federal attendees were naughty when it came to expensing their trips to those parties. They charged the government -- read the taxpayers -- for free meals.

"In addition, based upon a review of a sample of travel vouchers associated with selected conferences, we found that, although meals had been provided to the attendees during the conferences, some Federal and contractor employees had not deducted the corresponding meal
per diem amounts from their official travel vouchers. Thus, it appeared these individuals claimed and were reimbursed for meals they received at no cost. Information regarding this matter was provided to appropriate officials."

I wonder if that counts as fraud or just abuse?

By Robert O'Harrow |  May 30, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
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I'd hate to be the bank card coordinator at ORNL right now.

Posted by: Gray Hair Surfacing | May 30, 2008 10:20 AM

just plain greed and abuse. they should be charged with neglect and turned over to IRS for under reporting income

Posted by: | May 30, 2008 3:32 PM

This is nothing new. After working for the government for 32 years, this isn't even the tip of the ice-berg. We don't need new taxes, we need to "freeze" the government (with the exception of the truly critical warfighter positions). No travel, no training (with the exception of on-line free training provided by the DOD and available to all military/civilian and their families). Stop the contracting out initiatives (they are all bogus, I should know, I was up to my eyeballs in it for the past 10 years and saw millions in waste in just what I was handling). Smaller government translates into less taxes and less of a chance to rip off the taxpayer.

Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses | June 4, 2008 12:43 PM

How are we going to correct this problem of greed and corruption within gov't agencies?
Our gov't agencies are too numerous and often are too huge to govern.
I agree that these people in the ORNL should be invited into the IRS for a complete audit not only of this particular case but their tax returns for the past 7-yrs.
We should understand that what is at the foundation is our corrupt gov't system of accepting money& bribes from corp.interests and lobbyists.
We must REMOVE COMPLETELY all money that our Congress receives..only then will we begin to clean-up our mess.

Posted by: James Mejuto | June 5, 2008 12:39 PM

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