IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT: Dems Weaken Penalty for Missing Energy Office Funds

Remember the last time you wasted approximately $252 million at work and got a slap on the wrist?  Of course not, because that’s not how the real world works.  But, apparently, that is how the government works when Democrats are in charge of the Governor’s Energy Office.

Last week, the Colorado Energy Office (aka the Governor’s Energy Office) released a blistering performance audit showing that mismanagement of funds and programs ran amok in the office.  From the audit report:

CEO was unable to demonstrate that $252 million spent over the past six years was spent cost-effectively.

  • CEO does not calculate or maintain a comprehensive, annual budget or budget-to-actual data for any of the 34 programs administered during Fiscal Years 2007 through 2012. As a result, CEO could not determine the total cost or the total amount spent for any of its programs.
  • CEO program managers have not been required to manage programs within a budget, though they are responsible for requesting and justifying program expenditures.
  • Of the eight programs we reviewed in-depth, staff responsible for three programs could not identify the program’s goals or say whether the goals had been achieved.

While the audit report found the oversight issues began with the Ritter administration, the lack of oversight has continued with the Hickenlooper administration, dividing Democrats.  Democratic Senator Lucia Guzman warned the Hickenlooper administration in the Durango Herald:

“If I start a job, and I’ve been on it for two years, it seems to me I should have some outcomes giving me reason to continue to be there.”

As a penalty for essentially blowing hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars, freshman Republican Senator Owen Hill yesterday suggested an amendment to the Governor’s Energy Office appropriations bill that would cut its funding by approximately $13.9 million.  Unbelievably, the amendment passed with bipartisan support.

Not so fast.  Senator Pat Steadman swooped in to rescue the GEO by offering another amendment that would cut the funding of the GEO by a paltry $3.5 million.  Let’s just remember this massive boondoggle next time Democrats come begging for a tax increase.

 
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