Wednesday, October 16, 2013
"Use It or Lose It" Plaguing Washington D.C. By NewsMax.com Oct. 10, 2013
'Use It or Lose It' Plaguing Washington
On the last day of the 2013 fiscal year, Sept. 30, the Department of Agriculture spent $144,000 on ink toner cartridges — but that was business as usual for the federal government.
"It's a Washington phenomenon referred to as 'use it or lose it,'" according to a report from the Cost of Government Center.
"Agencies typically have to give back what they don't spend at the end of the fiscal year, prompting them to blow it on, say, three years' worth of staples instead of returning their surplus."
Also, agencies are allocated funds in large part based on what they spent the previous year, and they fear having their budget cut if they don't spend all they can.
So in the last week of September, the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $562,000 on artwork designed to "enhance clinical operations" — including $27,000 on photographs of sunsets — while the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on "Cubicle Furniture Rehab."
"Use it or lose it has been around for 30 years with budget-busting consequences," the center observed.
The most notorious example of the practice came in 2010 when the Internal Revenue Service, which had millions of dollars left in an account to hire new personnel, funded a lavish "Star Trek"-themed conference, which included a parody video filmed on a "Star Trek" set the IRS paid to build.
In 2012, the federal government spent $45 billion on contracts in the last week of September, The Washington Post reported. That was more than in any other week — 9 percent of the year's contract spending money allocated in 2 percent of the year.
A study by two university researchers found that during a recent five-year period, spending in the last week of the fiscal year was nearly five times higher than in the average week during the rest of the year.
Moreover, their data showed a sharp drop-off in the quality of information-technology projects at the end of the year.
Dean Sinclair, a former State Department employee who is urging a change in the system, suggests giving bonuses to managers who return leftover money to the Treasury at the end of the year. He told the Post: "It takes time and effort to waste money."
Let me see, this old money plan is not a very wise budget plan!! This leads to Federal Department's spending money on things that it doesn't necessarily need or would never purchase in ordinary situations, but since they had money in a budget that was set aside to purchase a predetermined product, and the targeted spending on that product was not met by the Purchasing Agent for that Department... The fact that they would just go out and spend it on something that they could someday use, is not wise... There should be a way to turn that money into a savings account or some kind of an account to use on the following year.. The monies saived doing this will lower the following amount's Budgeted for the next year, but that is only because the money that they needed is already in the account, since it wasn't spent the previous year! Makes perfect sense to do it that way, rather then go out and spend it on something that nobody in the federal Government needs or would use.. this leads to total Government Waste which is one thing that seems to make Americans Upset, espeically when the object purchased is nothing that they could or would ever need or use!!
It is also a great way to start lowering spending in this country!!!