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Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, covering fiscal waste, fraud and political ethics. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Washington Guardian. Phillip can be reached at

Articles by Phillip Swarts

** FILE ** A United Airlines jet departing in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, April 23, 2013.

FAA faces air controller shortages: report

The Federal Aviation Administration faces ongoing challenges in staffing the nation's air traffic control towers, the transportation department's chief watchdog said, following a tumultuous few years of several high-profile examples of controllers falling asleep on the job and budget cuts that forced the agency to furlough thousands of workers. Published September 6, 2013

Watchdog questions accuracy of EPA’s scientific integrity

Scientific research and calculations done by the Environmental Protection Agency may not be accurate because its employees have trouble doing science, according to a report from the agency's internal watchdog that says the situation requires quick action to fix. Published September 1, 2013

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

Golden Hammer: No work and all pay at VA makes watchdog sick

If you didn't do a job, would you still get paid? That's what federal investigators fear is happening at the Veterans Affairs Department's network of health care providers, with the government paying millions of dollars for work that might not be getting done, or giving thousands to doctors who leave in the middle of surgery or make patients wait for hours. Published August 29, 2013

Yosemite blaze continues; U.S. fleet of firefighting planes depleted by years of neglect

As firefighters battle a spectacular blaze raging across Yosemite National Park, the Interior Department is trying to put out a fire of a different sort: criticism from Congress' main watchdog that officials have failed for years to plan properly for replacing the government's decrepit, undersized fleet of 50-year-old firefighting aircraft. Published August 26, 2013

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

Spendopedia: Federal waste collection site opens on Internet

Has government waste become so bad that we need an encyclopedia to keep track? One watchdog group seems to think so and has started a publicly edited, crowdsourced website that compiles cases of fiscal abuse, modeled after the popular site Wikipedia. Published August 25, 2013

**FILE** The tail end of a SUV is perched on top of a postal mailbox in the aftermath of floods from Hurricane Sandy in Coney Island, N.Y., on Oct. 30, 2012. (Associated Press)

Hurricane Sandy roughed postal service fleet: Report

Hurricane Sandy, the massive super-storm that pounded the East Coast in 2012 and caused billions of dollars worth of damage, also managed to destroy or damage 110 delivery vehicles used by the U.S. Postal Service. Published August 19, 2013

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

HUD can’t prove jobs welfare plan is working

A program that helps pay poor Americans' housing bills so they can look for work has doled out more than $100 million each year, but it has no way of telling whether the aid helped improve the recipients' employment opportunities. Published August 15, 2013

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

Pentagon takes ‘use it or lose it’ approach to funds

The "blitzkrieg" was a popular German battle tactic in World War II to attack enemies and overrun their defenses before they could fight back. Now the Pentagon has perfected its own twist on the tactic: spend money lightning fast, before anyone has a chance to respond. Published August 8, 2013

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

In drugmakers’ game of delay, it’s patients and taxpayers who lose

Sports fans would be outraged if a bookie paid a boxer to throw a fight. But major drugmakers are doing something similar, increasingly paying competitors to keep cheaper generic alternatives off the shelves. The practice is costing patients and taxpayers billions of dollars in extra health care spending. Published August 1, 2013

Watchdog warns more than $1 billion going to fees and taxes in Afghanistan

So much for thanks: As the U.S. accelerates its exit from a decadelong, $100 billion reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, American generosity is getting an unwelcome penalty in the form of taxes and fees imposed by President Hamid Karzai’s government on U.S. contractors supporting the rebuilding effort. Published July 19, 2013