Katrina Fraud and Waste May Exceed $2 Billion

First, the government (state, local, and federal) failed to properly protect New Orleans in part because it did not build and maintain appropriate levees, instead wasting the money on useless pork projects. (That story is here). Then, in the aftermath of the storm, the combination of a hasty, massive spending spree by Congress and the use of uncompetitive bidding is resulting in a spectacular abuse of the American taxpayer.  The Associated Press reported on Dec. 25th on the GAO’s latest upward revision of the total waste and abuse:

The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition.