According to U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, (R-Wisconsin), “There are people getting more money from the federal government to inform on their coworkers than they are in their regular job, which is kind of outlandish.”
DEA’s Confidential Source Program was audited and what was found was a significant amount of waste. One example of the amount of waste going on in this controversial DEA program is how the government paid out $237 million to informants between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2015.
U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz and DEA Chief of Inspections Rob Patterson recently testified to Congress about the mismanagement of the DEA’s network of 18,000 confidential sources, over 9,000 of those sources pocketed a combined $237 million in payments for information or services they provided to DEA.
The audit found the DEA’s confidential source policies were not in compliance with the Attorney General’s Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants.
According to the audit, “DEA headquarters do not provide comprehensive oversight of their field offices to make sure the use of confidential sources, and payments to them, is “appropriate, reasonable, and justified. We found that the DEA did not adequately oversee payments to its sources, which exposes the DEA to an unacceptably increased potential for fraud, waste, and abuse, particularly given the frequency with which DEA offices utilize and pay confidential sources.”
The program, according to the congressional committee, is ridden with wasteful spending and payouts.
“In one case, an Amtrak employee was paid more than $850,000 for information DEA could have obtained at no cost. In another, the agency paid $86 million to purchase and modify a surveillance airplane that will never fly its intended mission. That didn’t stop 14 senior managers from booking a combined $1 million in bonuses.”
Grothman, a Wisconsin congressman, is outraged at not only the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse, but by the constitutional question’s the program raises.
Grothman stated, “Furthermore, in order to collect information that can be used, these people to a degree may be going through packages, mail, that sort of thing, something a federal employee can’t do.”
Grothman described to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, an incident in which a confidential source working in the parcel industry opened packages and found cash, then reported it to the DEA.
“It seems a practical matter there — (the DEA is) giving payment, sometimes payments that are more than a person’s salary, to do something that would be unconstitutional if their own employees did it.”
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