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GOV’T WASTE & FRAUD: $18 Billion a Year on Duplicate, Ineffective and Fraudulent Job Training Programs

Posted by FactReal on February 9, 2011

MORE WASTE, MISMANAGEMENT AND FRAUD FROM GOVERNMENT
A newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report exposes more misuse of our taxpayer money by government on duplicate, inefficient and fraudulent federally funded job training programs. “The federal government spends $18 billion a year on 47 separate job training programs run by nine different agencies…Managing that patchwork of federal programs is a network of 575 business-led local workforce boards running 1,300 one-stop job centers,” USA Today reports.

GAO found most programs are duplicates and/or lack demonstrable results: All but three of the 47 programs overlap with at least one other program in that they provide similar services to similar populations – yet maintain separate administrative structures. Little is known about the effectiveness of most programs.

Examples of waste, mismanagement and even corruption in the job training programs:
– Some seeking job training, for example, spent their days sitting on a bus.
– Others were given training for jobs that didn‘t exist, or were paid to sit through educational sessions about jobs they already had.
– Funds were misspent to pay a contractor for “ghost employees” and to purchase video games.
– Job training administrators spent federal funds on extravagant meals and bonuses for themselves.
– In one state, workforce agency employees took more than 100 gambling trips to casinos mostly during work hours.
– Elsewhere, a state employee steered federal job training funds to her son, a convicted criminal, who spent it on hotel stays, a $300 bar tab, cigars and pet care.
– High school students were knowingly exposed to the cancer causing agent asbestos as part of a job
training program.

Detailed Examples: (Hat tip: Sen. Coburn Report)

  • Job Training to Sit on a Bus: In San Francisco, California, graduates of a federally-funded job training program recalled receiving “little training” and having been paid to “sit on a bus.”
  • Ghost Employees: As youth unemployment soared, a U.S. Department of Labor official was sentenced for approving invoices for a Job Corps contractor – some of which she knew to be false and which billed for ghost employees – in exchange for monetary bribes and a vehicle.
  • Job Training Funds for the Already Employed: In Oregon, local companies used federal job training money to pay for training sessions to help the already employed carry out projects.
  • Job Training for a Jobless Field: New Jersey was forced to end a $4 million federally funded weatherization job training program after a lack of job demand left trainees without prospects – only seven of the 184 aspiring workers that received training found work in the field.
  • Tampa Bay Binge: The Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance in Florida used federal job training funds for self-indulgent binges on food and other extravagances, including: lunch at Hooters, valet parking for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (topped with $9 dollar slices of cheesecake), $20 delivery fees for cupcakes, $443.99 on flowers, 300 koozie drink holders and more.
  • State Job Training Executives Scheme Bonuses, Frequent Casinos During Work: Iowa workforce executives conspired to enrich themselves with $1.8 million in bonuses – paid for with federal funds – while engaging in sexual relationships and frequenting casinos during work.
  • Grants to Admitted Thief: In West Virginia, Martin Bowling – an admitted thief with a long rap sheet – was the primary beneficiary of a $100,000 federal worker training grant, and was put up for another federal job training grant worth $1 million by his mother, a state official at the time.
  • Luring Youth to Remove Asbestos: A now-defunct California company benefiting from federal funding “knowingly exposing high school students to the cancer-causing agent asbestos under the guise of involving the students in work experience and job training programs.”
  • $4 for Us, $1 for Workers: A Montana trade union, tasked with managing a half million dollar federal job re-training grant, was found to have spent four times as much on salaries than on actual training of displaced workers.
  • Unsafe Conditions, Expired Food, Filth and Cockroaches at Job Corps Facility: Federal investigators found fly riddled garbage, dead cockroaches and other unsafe conditions at the Gainesville, Florida Job Corps operated by DEL-JEN Incorporated. Significant incidents, such as physical assault, and weapons and narcotics possession, also were not reported.

READ THE FULL REPORTS
Coburn Report
Government Accountability Office (GAO) report

One Response to “GOV’T WASTE & FRAUD: $18 Billion a Year on Duplicate, Ineffective and Fraudulent Job Training Programs”

  1. […] GOVERNMENT WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY Last month, the General Accounting Office (GAO) found $18 Billion a year on duplicate, ineffective and fraudulent job training programs. […]

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