- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 21, 2014

A new State Department Office of the Inspector General audit finds that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the agency that oversees U.S. international broadcasting, has wasted almost $5 million in taxpayer dollars on questionable and unapproved purchases.

The State Department’s watchdog coined the BBGs mishap as a “systematic failure” of acquisitions.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that the BBG’s “wasteful spending, non-competitive contracting practices, and violations of current law point to an organization without accountable leadership.”

In a statement released Saturday Mr. Royce said, “For the sake of our national security interests, it is critical that U.S. international broadcasting be effective; that is why we have to scrap this broken agency.”

According to the IG’s audit, the BBG had reportable violaitons of the Anti-Deficiency Act, by awarding contracts that were personal in nature and by allowing contractors to work on a pre-approval basis without having valid contracts of secured funding in place, resulting in $431,502 in uncertified spending.

The watchdog also found that the BBG awarded contracts without fair market bidding, providing no verification that they deals were made at fair market prices.

Additionally, the IG found $419,020 in funds that “could have been put to better use in relation to contracts that were never executed, possibly because of lack of planning, and $3.5 million in questioned costs because of unsupported contract pricing.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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