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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry,  speaks, during a joint press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 12, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan's presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the "largest, most comprehensive audit" of the election runoff ballots possible. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

U.S. lets $3.6M TV trucks sit unused in Afghanistan: IG

- The Washington Times

The United States’ top watchdog for federal spending in Afghanistan on Friday called for Secretary of State John Kerry to reconsider a contract for three television trucks that have been left to collect dust in Kabul at a cost of $3.6 million to taxpayers.

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse from TWT staff. (Golden Hammer cropped logo)

Tax dollars wasted on humanities projects, critics charge

- The Washington Times

It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars to subsidize a culture. American taxpayers are spending tens of millions of dollars this year funding National Endowment for the Humanities grants that, among other things, finance research projects that look into the lives of pets during Victorian England, consider the history of black Americans in golf and study the culture of tea consumption in India.

Waste watcher: "The only way to stop wasteful Washington spending is by shining a light on it whenever and wherever it occurs, even if it is in your own state," says Sen. Tom Coburn, who is releasing his last Wastebook before retiring. (Andrew Harik/The Washington Times)

Tom Coburn highlights ridiculous government spending in final Wastebook

- The Washington Times

This year’s Wastebook does not show the $5,210 that the State Department tried to spend on a blowup, human-size foosball field for an embassy in Belize. But the fact that the project isn’t in Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual report on ridiculous spending choices is probably one of the biggest victories of the report, because it means the State Department canceled the project after the senator’s staffers asked about it.

John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hearing on Examining U.S. Reconstruction Efforts in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Afghanistan anti-corruption task force shuttered amid U.S. troop drawdown

- The Washington Times

The Pentagon this month will terminate a critical task force responsible for combating corruption in Afghanistan as it tries to reach President Obama’s target force of 9,800 U.S. troops in the country — adding to concerns about oversight and accountability in a government rife with waste, fraud and abuse.

U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman emailed an abrupt statement to reporters in June saying he was "angered and saddened" by "baseless allegations" and had never "engaged in any improper activity." (Associated Press)

Prostitution shenanigans rock State Department

- The Washington Times

State Department managers created the appearance of giving “undue influence and favoritism” by quashing or delaying official probes into accusations of prostitution solicitation, sexual assault and document leaking by American diplomats in recent years, a report by the department’s internal watchdog said Thursday.

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The seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs is seen on the building in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Under investigation at VA, official sought move to Energy Dept.

- The Washington Times

The central figure in a Department of Veterans Affairs procurement scandal, whom investigators ​accused of ​strong-arm​​ing​ the agency to hire a well-connected firm then lying about it, ​was set to ​begin a new job overseeing contracts for the Department of Energy (DOE) ​starting ​next week​, according to an internal announcement​.

The J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, which serves as the Federal Bureau of Investigation's headquarters, is seen here on April 26, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Target of FBI bribery probe successfully bribes FBI agent

- The Washington Times

A Boston businessman faced a federal investigation into whether he had bribed contracting officials to steer lucrative deals his way. So he responded the only way he knew how: bribing an FBI agent to call off the case. Unfortunately for the bureau, the agent took him up on it.

The nearly four-year investigation by the State Department's Office of Inspector General found that in one case, DynCorp paid more than $17,000 for "facilitation" services to subcontractor Speed-Flo Filters for visas for 15 people. Typically, the visas would cost about $3,000 in total, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show (State Department images via Associated Press)

Pakistani officials bribed by agents of military contractors: IG

- The Washington Times

State Department investigators uncovered evidence that agents working for one of the largest U.S. military contractors paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to Pakistani officials to obtain visas and weapons licenses, but records show the government closed the case without punishing DynCorp.

**FILE** Jeffrey Neely, the central figure in a General Services Administration spending scandal, sits at the witness table as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigates wasteful spending and excesses by GSA during a 2010 Las Vegas conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GSA ‘Hot tub’ man indicted on billing charges

- The Washington Times

The central figure in a General Services Administration conference scandal that forced agencies across government to rein in spending was indicted Thursday on charges he sought reimbursement for personal travel in Las Vegas and other vacation spots then lied about it.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, sent a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald demanding answers on what he called serious deficiencies in the Caribbean VA system, including the arrest of a top official and "inappropriate hiring practices." (Associated Press)

Caribbean VA health system under fire

- The Washington Times

The chairman of a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee demanded Thursday that new VA Secretary Bob McDonald explain serious deficiencies in the department's Caribbean Health Care System, including the arrest of a top official and a suicide note left by a veteran who said he wanted to end his life because of the poor treatment he was receiving.

Reel tender Mo Laussie watches fiber-optic cable as he helps install the cable onto telephone poles in 2001 in Louisville, Colo.

Golden Hammer: Chattanooga chokes on too much fiber

- The Washington Times

Chattanooga’s government-owned fiber optic cable, telephone and high-speed Internet scheme has been hailed as a revolutionary example of publicly-funded broadband. The Internet service, which officials claim can reach speeds of a gigabit-per-second, even led Chattanooga officials to attempt to rebrand the town as “Gig City.”

Federal porn peepers are rarely charged with time and attendance abuse, according to investigative memos on computer misuse from agencies across government. Prosecutors seem to pursue cases aggressively only when there is evidence of child pornography. Agencies dole out discipline administratively in some cases, and the identities of the employees are shielded from public disclosure, records show. (associated press)

Federal workers not punished for surfing porn while on the job

- The Washington Times

An employee at the U.S. Office of the Trustee — an arm of the Justice Department charged with overseeing the integrity of the bankruptcy system — spent up to five hours a day on the job looking at pornography, visiting more than 2,500 adult websites during 2011, investigators found.

Iraqis mark Police Day in Baghdad. The State Department's decision to close an investigation left unresolved accusations of whether DynCorp let a subcontractor solicit kickbacks from linguists at Baghdad's police academy as a condition of continued employment. The company was hired under a nearly $1 billion task order to provide linguists to work in three Iraqi cities. (Associated Press)

Iraq stymied probe into military contractor kickbacks

- The Washington Times

State Department investigators last year quit probing kickback charges against one of the government's largest military contractors because they didn't want to go through the "lengthy" process of getting permission from the Iraqi government to interview its citizens, records show.