‘We have not made much progress in the war on waste. In fact…we may be losing ground…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is known to be a budget hawk, and right now he has his nose in what appears to be egregious waste at the Department of Defense.
The latest example? $10,000 in taxpayer money to buy individual toilet seat covers, according to a press release sent by his office.
The toilet seat covers were purchased for use in C-17 cargo planes.
As it turns out, the price of one toilet seat cover is $300.
So why are taxpayers being billed $10,000?
Well, that’s due to process costs, according to Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
“[W]e don’t need many of them,” he explained. “[Y]ou’re asking a company to produce it and they’re producing something else … they’re losing revenue and profit. So although it looks like it’s a certain price in the GSA [Government Services Administration] catalog, the business case is what drives it up.”
It looks like it’s a whole lot of trouble for this company to produce the 3D-printed toilet seat covers … so they make sure to set a price to make it worth their while.
But taxpayers are on the hook.
Grassley seemed perturbed by the explanation.
“If Dr. Roper’s information is accurate, I would be very discouraged, indeed,” he wrote in a letter to Glenn Fine, Department of Defense Principle Deputy Inspector General. “It would tell me that we have not made much progress in the war on waste. In fact, it would tell me that we may be losing ground.”
Grassley fears that the revelation could be used to later justify cuts in the defense budget, as happened in the 1980s, and alluded to a similar incident – complete with a toilet seat scandal – from back then involving then-Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, Casper Weinberger.
“The 10,000.00 toilet seat cover could be just the tip of the iceberg,” Grassley concluded.
Read his letter to Mr. Fine demanding an explanation for the toilet seats here.