HOW HAVE HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDS BEEN SPENT?
The Washington-based Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and the Berkeley, Calif.-based Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) have compiled data using documents from state auditors and overseers, the federal Government Accountability Office, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, the Congressional Research Service, and others to reveal possible misuse of homeland security funds, such as the purchase of unnecessary equipment. According to their report released last month, “Homeland Security: Boom and Bust:”
- Whittier, Alaska, population 175, bought a $24,000 incident-command truck, two 4×4 all-terrain vehicles, and two Anthrax detectors. No case of Anthrax infection has ever been reported in Alaska.
- Between 2003 and 2007, Georgia received more than $100 million in grants to invest in new radio projects. But, not all jurisdictions upgraded their radio systems, leaving some unable to communicate.
- When federal officials asked state and local governments to provide an inventory of critical infrastructure facilities, Indiana apparently listed among its 8,600 “key resources” a local popcorn factory. In all, Indiana listed more state “assets” than New York and California combined.
- The Department of Homeland Security cited more than $8.2 million of “questionable costs” in West Virginia, including $3,000 worth of lapel pins, $8,000 in trips to Washington and Chicago, and thousands of dollars in cell phone charges.
To view an interactive map that details the use of homeland security readiness funds in all 50 states, visit www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/homeland_security/map.