More Rules For Thee But Not For Me

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that there are some questions as to the amount of money Elizabeth Warren spent to set up the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” as a federal watchdog to prevent financial institutions from abusing U.S. consumers.

The article reports:

The Office of Inspector General of the United States Federal Reserve (OIG) was requested by the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Committee on January 29, 2014, to evaluate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) headquarters renovation costs that rose from $55 million to at least $215.8 million.

…According to a 2012 Independent Performance Audit, the legislation uniquely guaranteed the CFPB an automatic percentage of the Federal Reserve System’s operating expenses and that “funding is not subject to the traditional formulation and review of the Congressional appropriations process.” In addition, “Receipt of funds from the Federal Reserve authorizes the agency’s budget spending authority.”

The article explains why this spending is a problem for Ms. Warren:

The OIG found that the “Scope and Justification for Estimates” for the “$55 million and $95 million budget amounts for the renovation for fiscal year FY 2012 [beginning October 1, 20011] and FY 2013 [beginning October 1, 2012], respectively, were published in the CFPB’s public budget documents.” The OIG also found that “Approvals through decision memorandums were obtained for these amounts.” But the OIG reported that “CFPB was unable to locate any documentation of the decision to fully renovate the building.”

It therefore appears that although Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the responsible party at the CFPB who approved the “decision to renovate,” the design, and the cost “Scope and Justification for Estimates,” all documents regarding her decisions have vanished.

More missing paperwork from the Obama Administration. Someone needs to open a Lost and Found for these people. Ms. Warren was supposed to be protecting consumers from overzealous corporations, meanwhile she was exploiting the taxpayers to create her own luxurious offices. This sort of expense can be added to the list of places the federal budget could easily be cut.

 

When Bureaucracies Act Like Squabbling Children

Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has charged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Buy America Act that was part of the Recovery Act. This is bureaucracy at its worst.

The article reports:

In March 2011, the OIG inspected the wastewater plant in Ottawa, Ill., and determined several European and Korean-made parts didn’t satisfy the Buy America Act that requires parts to be purchased or “substantially transformed” in the U.S.

The EPA for the past two years has refused to either eliminate the rule or return the stimulus funds spent on the foreign equipment, saying the purchase didn’t violate its own rules.

“In the event that the region decides to retain foreign-manufactured goods in the Ottawa project… the region should either ‘reduce the amount of the award by the cost of the steel, iron, or manufactured goods that are used in the project or . . . take enforcement or  termination action in accordance with the agency’s grants management regulations,’ the OIG said. “Neither the region nor the city agreed with our conclusion that the documentation was not sufficient to support Buy American compliance for some items.”

How many man hours did it take to reach this conclusion, how many more man hours will be spent on this before it is resolved, and what difference does it make? How about a law that says you buy the best quality for the lowest price? Wouldn’t that save taxpayers money which would put more money in taxpayers’ pockets that the taxpayers could spend to stimulate the economy?

The article further reports:

The EPA instead blamed its Office of Water for establishing a flimsy test for whether products met the Buy America act. The agency admitted the rule isn’t a good test, but described it as “inartful” rather than wrong.

To me that sounds like a teenager explaining why it was okay to stay out past curfew!

Enhanced by Zemanta