‘Puter read with jaw fully dropped this account at The Fiscal Times of yesterday’s Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on government’s security clearance process. Succinctly, the government has no standard process for granting security clearances, leaving it to the arbitrary and capricious whims of independent contractors and nameless bureaucrats. To pay for this fustercluck, Congress allocates to the Office of Personnel Management the tidy sum of $1 billion per year. If you’re looking to raise your blood pressure, read the whole thing.
This isn’t the first (or the last) time government has abjectly failed to accomplish a most critical task. It should, however, mark the end of American’s tolerance for government’s failures and the continued failure of Congressional oversight.
But, as John Paul II often said, be not afraid! As always, ‘Puter has a simple solution that costs taxpayers nothing they weren’t already out of pocket. As an added bonus, ‘Puter’s plan reduces government spending in future fiscal years, makes government suffer the consequences of their actions and enriches lawyers!
For each federal department and agency, enact a private inspector general provision (akin to the myriad private attorneys general provisions that currently exist) as part of the relevant inspector general’s office. That is, permit private citizens to sue the federal government on their own dime for waste, fraud and abuse.
Private attorneys general statutory provisions are in common use already. They are (minimally) controversial and have been determined to be legal. Many civil rights statutes e.g., Civil Rights Act of 1964), environmental statutes (e.g., Clean Water Act) and even a criminal statute (e.g., Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) contain such provisions. It shouldn’t be a bridge too far to migrate the concept to a differently named enforcement entity like an inspector general.
If the private citizens win, in addition to the usual recovery of attorney’s fees, permit the private plaintiff to retain 25% of the waste, fraud or abuse proven, paid out of the agency’s budget for the next fiscal year.
Additional, mandate that the penalty to the agency be a reduction of the line item shown to be fraudulent by the amount of fraudulent spending shown. If the line item reduction results in a negative value, then the affected program is immediately shut down.
The private inspector general statute should include limited exceptions for national security, but that’s about it. Also, no penalty to a government agency should be permitted to reduce funds available to recipients of welfare unless and only to the extent the welfare recipients are shown to be in on the fraud as well. This protects innocent government dependents from their abusive governmental parents. Put the punishment where it belongs.
‘Puter’ betting there’d be a stampede to the courthouse, led by the plaintiff’s bar, because who has more money and more waste, fraud and abuse than the federal government. It’s a stinking goldmine! If the plaintiff’s bar was smart, they’d make national accounting and auditing firms the named plaintiffs. There is nothing more powerful in rooting out waste, fraud and abuse than greedy lawyers aided by greedy auditors.
No cost to taxpayers. No new federal employees (or contractors). Lower federal spending. Consequences for government employee malfeasance and nonfeasance.
‘Puter’s a consarned genius.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.