Previously, The General Services Administration (GSA), which manages federal property, listed the government aid languishing in warehouses at $85,000,000.
Turns out they were wrong by a factor of four or so. In fact the victims of Hurricane Katrina have only been waiting in vain for EIGHTEEN (point five) million dollars, not eighty-five. And yet somehow it doesn't sting any less.
"The original GSA estimate of $85 million should have been $18.5 million, according to figures released by GSA and FEMA. ...GSA officials were asked recently to reassess the total cost of donated items in what the agency called a routine audit. "In doing so, it was determined that some of the unit costs were 'eaches' and others were 'for-case' lots.
The final adjustments reveal there was a significant overstatement in the total asset valuation," GSA officials reported to FEMA, which released the findings Monday. For example, each spork was assigned the value of an entire case, inflating the original estimated value of the supplies a thousandfold to $36 million from $36,000. Packs of toilet paper originally estimated to be worth $1.5 million dropped to about $18,000, and plastic cutlery kits, from $6.3 million to about $25,000."
This of course begs that we ask the obvious question: Where the hell does one find individually-sold sporks, let alone generate a price listing for one? Where, I ask you?
No, the obvious question is actually, "The government thought they were sending Katrinians THIRTY SIX MILLION dollars' worth of SPORKS? And no one saw this as odd?"
"Hey there, friend. We're sorry your house blew away and/or flooded, not necessarily in that order; here, have some sporks. No, really, take as many as you want."
No one found it odd that 42% of Katrina aid had apparently been spent on sporks? This goes beyond failure of oversight. Someone failed to oversee, undersee, or see anything outside the inside of their own ass. -Alex Brant-Zawadzki