The U.S. Energy
Department sold 23 trucks for 17 cents each, a $9,000 copier for
a nickel and a drilling rig now offered for sale at $3.9 million
for $50,000, just a few examples of hundreds of deals that squandered
government resources, federal investigators found.
which also included motor homes, laboratory equipment and cranes,
occurred at the Energy Department's Nevada Test Site, the installation
north of Las Vegas where nuclear bombs were once tested underground.
made under a federal program intended to promote economic development
in communities around Energy Department sites. Under the program,
surplus government property is sold to nonprofit community organizations
with the hope that they will use it to attract business and jobs.
Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman said his department’s audit
of the sales "did not strike an appropriate balance between
the effort to assist community development and the need to assure
that federal taxpayers received reasonable consideration for property