Wednesday Waste: Trouble in Tennessee
Citizens of the Volunteer State should have some serious questions for their officials after state and local agencies managed to waste the equivalent of a luxury home, according to a report released in late December.
The Tennessee Watchdog reveals that, according to a review of documents released by the State Comptroller’s Office, various Tennessee agencies managed to waste or misuse some $700,000. Tennessee taxpayers footed the bill for everything from $140,964 in over-budget spending from the General School Purpose Fund, to $2,200 wasted on subscriptions to unused dial-up internet services that should have been deactivated in 2008. Officials in the city of Whitwell racked up some $6,200 in bank overdraft fees, and one county health center decided to hand out prepaid gift cards as bonuses to employees without bothering to report them.
When fighting against wasteful spending in government, it’s easy to focus on Washington, where the numbers are biggest. But waste exists at all levels of government, and without vigilant citizens, those small sums can run up a considerable tab for local taxpayers.