Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fed Audit Faults LANL Manager

By John Arnold
Journal Staff Report

A federal audit shows that Los Alamos National Laboratory's manager, the University of California, made contributions to the lab's nonprofit foundation and then "inappropriately" charged the federal government for $6 million in reimbursements.

A draft of the audit findings, issued by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, was posted this week on a popular Web log that deals with lab issues.

A final report hasn't been released, but UC spokesman Chris Harrington confirmed Tuesday that the university was in the process of addressing the report's findings. He said the draft was "out for comment" and that "we're going to provide our information to the department and go through the proper channels in terms of responding to the report."

Harrington added that UC's response to the report will show that reimbursements it received for contributions to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation were allowed under UC's management contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.


Full Story

The underlying issue here is whether taxpayer money can be handed out as donations or contributions, whether the monies are going to a worthy cause or not isn't the real issue. The law is rather clear in this regard. Under Federal Aquisition Regulation, donations and contributions are "unallowable costs." For those interested, the URL for the FAR is:

The applicable section is 31.205-8, while section 52.242-3 addresses associated penalties.

Bottom line is taxpayer moneys aren't supposed to just be donated or dolled out for nothing in return.
"Bottom line is taxpayer moneys aren't supposed to just be donated or dolled out for nothing in return."

You mean as was done for months on end during our shutdown? $357 million was dolled out, by DOE's reckoning, for nothing in return.
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