We Will Spare No $500 Cheese Plate to Keep the Homeland Safe


From The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government agency in charge of airport security spent nearly a half-million dollars on an awards ceremony at a lavish hotel, including $81,000 for plaques and $500 for cheese displays, according to an internal report obtained by The Associated Press.

Awards were presented to 543 Transportation Security Administration employees and 30 organizations, including a "lifetime achievement award" for one worker with the 2-year-old agency. Almost $200,000 was spent on travel and lodging for attendees.

The investigation by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, also found the TSA gave its senior executives bonuses averaging $16,000, higher than at any other federal government agency, and failed to provide adequate justification in more than a third of the 88 cases examined.

The TSA's sorry, abbreviation-choked response:

As the DHS IG report acknowledges, TSA followed all OPM policies and contracting procedures for the Awards Ceremony. Similarly, the IG found no irregularities in TSA's cash performance awards. […]

Yeah, that's part of the problem. First link via Dr. Frank; also, don't miss James Bovard's February 2004 cover story on "the sorry record of the Transportation Security Administration."