WASHINGTON (AP) - A day after castigating the federal government's ousted disaster chief, a House panel is hearing pledges from government auditors that they will closely examine millions of dollars in contracts the Bush administration awarded to politically connected companies for Hurricane Katrina relief.
The inspectors general from half a dozen agencies, as well as officials from the Government Accountability Office, on Wednesday were addressing a House subcommittee on the Katrina cleanup and announcing several new audits to combat waste and fraud.
They are pledging strong oversight that includes a review of no-bid contracts and close scrutiny of federal employees who now enjoy a $250,000 - rather than a $2,500 - purchase limit for Katrina-related expenses on their government-issued credit cards.
``When so much money is available, it draws people of less than perfect character,'' H. Walker Feaster, inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission, said. ``It underscores the need for internal controls of the money going out.''
The General Accountability Office is headed by the Comptroller General of the United States. Ordinarily, this would raise cries of "wolf inspecting the hen house," but careful readers of this blog will recall that the GAO has been one of the few dissenting voices in the Republican camp regarding tax cuts and Social Security reform.
Now, add to these two earlier stories (linked above) to this story, and it seems that finally, George Orwell can rest quietly in his grave.