Federal Manager's Daily Report

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., has issued his third annual compilation of “federal fumbles,” instances of wasteful spending by agencies, many of them cited in IG and GAO reports, that he attributes in many cases to lack of planning.

“Several of the entries in this book involve instances in which agencies have spent taxpayer dollars before engaging in effective planning to ensure the item or program is feasible, cost effective, or even possible. That can and should be easily fixed,” it says.

For example, it cites the Air Force decision to drop an upgrade of its Air Operations Center after spending 10 years and more than $700 million on it. “Before embarking on a project of this scale, the DoD should fully and adequately plan for a project’s true costs and anticipated issues and set realistic expectations for contractors. The DoD should also ensure that those who failed to properly plan this project are demoted or fired to prevent the same mistake again.”

Similarly, it said the Army canceled plans for a ground-combat vehicle after determining it would not meet Army needs “after spending $1.4 billion on development and four years of reports stating the project was not feasible and had not been properly planned.”

Also highlighted are struggles by DHS to fill additional positions in ICE and CBP due to slowness in the hiring process; abuse of teleworking by federal employees who over-reported their remote working hours; duplicative programs such as those by three different agencies to improve broadband access in rural areas; and numerous grants to universities and other organizations.