Warehouse of Waste | Wednesday Waste
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According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported critical equipment shortages for its border patrol agents, while the equipment in question sat in storage for more than a year.
It goes without saying that providing all necessary equipment, like radios, is essential for those agents to do their jobs safely and effectively. According to the inspector general in a separate report released last year:
“Since 2007, assaults on agents have risen more than 35 percent, including 13 deaths.”
Unfortunately, The Washington Times reports, far from being a shortage, DHS had an abundance of radio equipment sitting in storage, in some cases for up to two years after they had been purchased. What qualifies as an abundance? In radios alone, DHS had $28 million worth sitting in a warehouse as CBP continued to report shortages and request equipment. All because DHS lacked an inventory of all the equipment its agency had purchased.
“Investigators said CBP left 6,147 pieces of equipment sitting unused in a warehouse despite listing them as ‘active,’ and ICE did the same with 1,740 pieces of equipment despite listing them as ‘in service.’”
The equipment was eventually dispersed but by August 2012 it had already been sitting in storage for 16 months. Beyond being just an example of fiscal mismanagement and government waste, this is an example of how fiscal mismanagement actually affected the safety of the people who relied on DHS to provide equipment.