- Post 07 March 2012
- By Marcel J. van Rossum
A prime example of how government agencies seeking grant or stimulus awards use those funds to create an environment that benefits the administrators of the program. The administration, the bureaucracy itself, sucks up the lions share of the grant for new LEED approved offices, bigger desks, and more assistants that probably need more assistants. Adding private sector 'consultants' -- usually a friend of a friend of somebody's brother -- allows the program director and staff to saunter off to seminars -- just so everyone is on the same page -- held at some exotic venue four times a year. They call it continuing education. A misnomer at best, it's really vacationing on the taxpayers dime. Pay increases are warranted of course, the increased workload administrating all that community benefit money is really hard work. Multiply that by every government office, municipal, county state or federal, and we are talking real money. It's all about the spending and everyone in government will do whatever it takes to make sure that does not change.
A chunk of an $11 million stimulus grant meant to provide low-income Detroit residents with clothing for job interviews reportedly aided just two people -- far short of the 400 job-seekers the money was meant to help.
The findings were part of a new audit on the city's Department of Human Services, according to The Detroit News.
The 2009 grant in question was used to start a service center -- which included among other features a call center for families in need and a clothing boutique.