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We really are giving out teaspoons to dig elephant graves...

MaggieD

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The Veterans Affairs Department is spending millions on employment call centers where workers have handled as few as one or two calls a day eversince the facilities opened in October 2011, according to a recent inspector general report.

The two centers are operated and staffed by a private contractor and were opened to increase the number of veterans working for the department.
However, the June 25 report concluded the department acquired “excess services” toward its goal and in fact turned the centers into 24/7 operations despite the low volume.


The centers handled an average of 180 calls a day -- equal to about 2.4 per operator – through December 2012.
The highest daily-call average was in July 2012 when operators handled an average of 4.5 calls a day, according to the 21-page report
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The average number dropped to 2.3 calls daily by September. But the department officials still decided the next month to expand hours of operation to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week based on contractor projections.


The average number of calls per operator dropped to 1.4 by December 2012. And one call for every 12 projected was made over the next 13 months -- an overestimate of more than 1,000 percent, according to FierceGoverment.com.
external-link.png

The centers are overseen by the department’s Veteran Employment Services Office, established in July 2011 to recruit and retain more veteran employees. They were established by the department expanding an agreement with the Office of Personnel Management.


The report concluded the over-expansion was the result of the VESO failing to routinely request call data from the contractor.


The department spent $2.2 million in 2012 on the centers and is projected to spend at least $13.1 million through fiscal 2015, which brings the total to an estimated $15.3 million.


The report is among the latest to find high costs and inefficiency within the department. In March, roughly 70 percent of veterans' claims took longer than 125 days to process while the department’s budget has increased by about 40 percent over the past four years.

The IG report also found the employment services office awarded a one-year, $4.4 million contract for human resources support services that in fact “duplicated VESO’s own internal capacities.”


The agency’s acting Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration Rafael Torres said in the report the agency will take corrective action and that it will likely spend less than the projected $4.4 million on human resource efforts.


The report said the excessive acquisitions occurred because the department’s Office of Human Resources and Administration “did not conduct a thorough analysis to justify the need for the services.”

Read more: Audit: Workers at costly Veterans Affairs job center took average of 2 calls a day | Fox News

Can you just imagine the waste in government spending? No, I don't think we really can . . .

Thoughts?
 

blaxshep

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Don't worry I'm sure Obamacare will be different.
 

Fisher

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meh. If it is veteran owned and staffed, I am less offended by it than other programs we have.
 

Oceandan

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Somewhere, in an alternate universe, there's a government run program that's efficient and profitable.

Now if we can only figure out how to arrive in that locale.

Senator Tom Coburn had documented government waste for a number of years. It's almost inconceivable.
 

Carjosse

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Somewhere, in an alternate universe, there's a government run program that's efficient and profitable.

Now if we can only figure out how to arrive in that locale.

Senator Tom Coburn had documented government waste for a number of years. It's almost inconceivable.

You have never seen the LCBO then. The liquor business is very profitable.
 
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MaggieD

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Somewhere, in an alternate universe, there's a government run program that's efficient and profitable.

Now if we can only figure out how to arrive in that locale.

Senator Tom Coburn had documented government waste for a number of years. It's almost inconceivable.

I'd never heard of it --

Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2012” include:

• Tax loopholes for the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) – professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits ($91 million in taxes)

• Moroccan pottery classes (part of a $27 million grant from U.S. Agency for International Development)

• Efforts to promote caviar consumption and production ($300,000)

• Robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel” (part of a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation)

• Promotion of specialty shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs ($505,000)

• Corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food producer, PepsiCo Inc. ($1.3 million)

• Government-funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is ($350,000)

• “Prom Week,” a video game that allows taxpayers to relive prom night ($516,000)

• Oklahoma’s layover boondoggle, a scarcely used airport in Oklahoma receiving nearly half-a-million in taxpayer dollars only to transfer funds elsewhere in the state ($450,000)

• The 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen tour paid for in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “to promote the consumption of Alabama’s watermelon through appearances of the Alabama Watermelon Queen at various events and locations” ($25,000)

Read the $18 billion summary here: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public...&File_id=77c257a6-adc8-4e38-87a5-85c86d7ed4a5
 

sangha

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$15 million over 4 years...to help veterans

I tried, but I just can't get worked up over this.
 

specklebang

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Some Vets got jobs doing nothing.

A Contractor was rewarded for his donations to "the right people".

The Earth continued orbiting the sun. In the distance, a cat meowed.
 

beerftw

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Can you just imagine the waste in government spending? No, I don't think we really can . . .

Thoughts?

the point pf programs like that are not to actually help people,but to employ people in someones home district in order to boost favorability.just think about it,if they increased efficiency,they wouldnt get more money to hire more people to do nothing,thats how the game works.
 

Manc Skipper

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Why does nobody complain about the contractor stealing from the taxpayer, but the government for letting itself be ripped off?
 

Oceandan

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the point pf programs like that are not to actually help people,but to employ people in someones home district in order to boost favorability.just think about it,if they increased efficiency,they wouldnt get more money to hire more people to do nothing,thats how the game works.

This is the challenge with both parties. They all do it. They like to gripe and spit and point fingers at the "OTHER" side, but never admit they are doing the same thing.

I've had a number of email exchanges and telephone conversations with my Representative and my Senators on this very subject. Sometimes effective, sometimes just the usual political lies. It's frustrating.
 

Oceandan

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Why does nobody complain about the contractor stealing from the taxpayer, but the government for letting itself be ripped off?

I guess, if you are serious with this statement, I'd only say, it's usually the responsibility of the one paying the bill, to be the more responsible party. I mean, if you got a five thousand dollar bill for a haircut, you'd pay it and then bad mouth the cosmetologist for stealing your money??

yikes.
 

beerftw

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This is the challenge with both parties. They all do it. They like to gripe and spit and point fingers at the "OTHER" side, but never admit they are doing the same thing.

I've had a number of email exchanges and telephone conversations with my Representative and my Senators on this very subject. Sometimes effective, sometimes just the usual political lies. It's frustrating.

its true,one politician pushes for something for his home district to boost his ratings under the guise of being usefull,then demonizes manywho opposeit claiming they hate x group despite the fact the program doesnt help x group but simply hires people to do what other programs already do,and then the same politician agrees to back other politicians programs if they back his.

its a giant game of either back my pork or ill demonize you for blocking waste.
 

Oceandan

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LOL Will you give me permission to use this???
"giant game of either back my pork or I'll demonize you for blocking waste"???

That's awesome!!

Bravo bravo!
 

Manc Skipper

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I guess, if you are serious with this statement, I'd only say, it's usually the responsibility of the one paying the bill, to be the more responsible party. I mean, if you got a five thousand dollar bill for a haircut, you'd pay it and then bad mouth the cosmetologist for stealing your money??

yikes.

So you too would blame the victim and not the robber.
 

WhyNotWhyNot

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Can you just imagine the waste in government spending? No, I don't think we really can . . .

Thoughts?

So I know that I posted this months ago (obviously before last fall's election), but it seems germain here also.

In the White House there is an office of Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications. Its mission is to devise strategies to promote the President’s agenda and to assure that it is delivered effectively through all media. President Nixon created the position. Republican and Democratic Presidents have expanded its size ever since. The office currently has eleven (11) director level staff positions supported by a significant office staff organized as follows:
• Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications Director
o Special Consultant to the President for Media Affairs
o Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications
o Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting
o Director of New Media
o Director of Media Affairs
o Director of Broadcast Media
o Director of Specialty Media
o Director of Hispanic Media
o Director of Citizen Participation
o Director of African American Media

The office of Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications works closely with the office of the White House Press Secretary to disseminate the President’s agenda through “news” media. The White House Press Secretary has three supporting assistant management positions (plus office staff). In total the two offices have 15 management level staff designing and delivering the President’s message. Of course these management positions are supported by assistants and office staff. I am guessing there are at least 50 people and the annual cost probably exceeds $5,000,000.

The director titles make it clear that the office has been designed to specially target message delivery to Hispanics and African Americans, two ethnic groups that were key constituencies in President Obama’s election and are considered to be key to his reelection. Normally the top position is filled by someone who was intimately connected to the President’s election management. George Stephanopoulos was President Clinton’s deputy campaign manager and then became the Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications, for example.

To paraphrase a famous saying, “If it walks like an election influence machine and quacks like an election influence machine, it must be an election influence machine”

We pay for this massive operation where a couple speech writers is all that the President really needs for his mandatory speeches, such as the State of the Union Address, and also making a few national and international leadership speeches each year.
 

head of joaquin

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Can you just imagine the waste in government spending? No, I don't think we really can . . .

Thoughts?

Anecdote: the mother's milk of conservative thought.
 
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