The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Have you noticed that when a federal agency wants millions of dollars for a pet project, they often conjure up nifty names to lend credibility to a frivolous request? Here is part of the GAO’s report on this $3.9 million dollar boondoggle; The “Restacking” Project.
Headquarters Restacking Project
The Perceived Need for and Decision to Undertake the Restacking Project:
Notwithstanding the significant costs expended by the SEC in connection with the previous moves at headquarters, New York and Boston, including the approximately $48 million in unbudgeted costs, and the criticism from the GAO regarding the SEC’s management controls over budget formulation and review, according to the SEC’s Executive Director, there was widespread sentiment in favor of restacking (i.e., changing the configuration of the layout of the offices and divisions) almost from the time the Commission moved into its new headquarters buildings.
From the GAO report: “However, we were informed that almost immediately after the SEC decided to utilize this vertical approach, SEC managers determined that a horizontal approach was preferable…”
The cost to taxpayers? Well, $3.9 million breaks down this way: 1,000 American families could have kept $3900 each, had this waste not occurred, to maybe, pay a child’s college tuition, replace a roof on the home, replace a worn out air-conditioning system, in fact, to do whatever they needed, possibly some parents may have worked away from home a little less and spent more time with their children. Or to put it another way: America could be in less debt to foreign governments to the tune of $3.9 million. But, what do huge government bureaucracies care about such miniscule things?
Laura Strickler, “SEC Spends Millions to Reorganize Desks,” CBS News, April 8, 2009, at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/07/cbsnews
_investigates/main4927475.shtml (October 5, 2009).