8:42 pm, April 19, 2014

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  • So after they look at this
    they will then look at the total cost of Congressional fact finding missions, right? While this does seem a bit excessive (contractors and venue prices are a pain), there is a lot more waste and excess that no one wants to take a look at. If the machette and the fine tooth comb is going to come out, it needs to hit everywhere, to include the perks and joys of our great leaders.
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  • "Fact finding missions"
    You mean like jetting over to Israel to find out if a Congressman will float in the Dead Sea if he jumps in naked? :-)
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  • when will they investigage spenditures for training and travel?
    Training expenses are outrageous and for topics that are idiotic. I am not sure who is analyzing the training courses or who makes the decision. Just to name a couple of examples; my agency pays $5,000 to $10,000 per day on training. What kind of specialized training would justify that kind of training you ask? "Getting along with others", they flew in some old guy from Florida for this training, he told us during lunch that the contract was for $10,000.00 for that days training. Ridiculous, we learned nothing, it was stupid. We had taken the training to get a break or day off. Another thing they are not looking at is excessive attendance of conferences by senior managers. One person just went to Costa Rica, 5 star hotel, limo ride. Another, to Australia, 4 star hotel, taxi rides. Airline cost to Australia? $15,000.00. Seems outrageous but it's a business class ticket, round trip, refundable. All this still going on people.
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  • As a fed and taxpayer
    this is crazy! but I believe you can find where the problems are by looking at it like this, DoD vs Non-DoD agencies. Those non DoD spend and waste more money on nonsense items like using different email software, badges, ect...its not about the 400 dollar hammer, its about how many different hammers at different costs does the government need? Why does one agencey can do this, but another agency does it this way and cost 3 times as much....something isnt right....
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  • You're asking the wrong question
    Just me
    Setting aside your specious (implied) comment about non-DoD agencies wasting money at a higher rate than DOD (which is impossible, by the way...given the number of late and over budget projects in DoD's inventory), the question is not why but what. What does expending these funds accomplish? In the instance of training videos, like these, the intent is to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. It is to take a method that was developed for the private sector, and which really hasn't worked all that well, and apply it to the government sector. It is a part of the "do more with less" mentality that says "if we are only a cohesive team, THEN things will be faster, cheaper, and better." This is an approach that can work in the private sector because the private sector is OUTCOMES driven...they amend their processes to achieve better outcomes because they can. The government sector is PROCESS driven, and cannot change the processes because often they are mandated by law. In the matter of Badges, that's driven by HSPD-12 (a giant unfunded mandate imposed by law that no one can afford to implement. In the matter of e-mail and software requirements, there are laws on the books which govern these things...as well as internal agency requirements. If the VA requires a DOD form 225 for certain actions, but no one else needs that form, then there is no reason for others to buy software that creates and publishes that form. If GSA needs autocad, but SSA does not, it makes no sense to force them to buy it. There are some things which are standard platforms (Microsoft word) but in which a version may vary due to the computer refresh cycle of a particular agency. In the matter of computers, printers, and other devices, this is driven by law (competition in contracting act, federal acquisition regulations, small business set asides and etc). These laws are not, ultimately, designed to ensure the lowest cost to the government (which would actually occur if the government were allowed to partner like the private sector does), or to generate the greatest efficiency. They are designed to implement social programs and to "spread the contracting money around" giving everyone a little piece of the contracting pie. If you want to fix that part of the problem, then you need to talk to Congress. Good luck with that one, though, because Congress loves to talk about how wasteful the government is while prohibiting actions (like contract bundling) that would ultimately SAVE the government money because it affects one of their constituents.
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