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?
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