|GAO Discovers Cost of Each DOE-Created Stimulus Job: $194,213
By Congressman Greg Walden
WASHINGTON, DC A Government Accountability Office report
released Thursday shows that the Department of Energy has spent more
than $1.9 billion in so-called stimulus funds to create 10,018 jobs
through May, an average of $194,213 spent per full-time job created.
As a small business owner for nearly 22 years, I'm shocked that
these jobs cost taxpayers nearly $195,000 each, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden
(R-Ore.) said. Taxpayers deserve more for their investment. This is
more evidence that the private sector is far more capable than the
federal government at creating the long-term jobs required for a
sustainable economic recovery..
It looks like the Department of Energy got in over its head when
it was handed $6 billion in stimulus money to create jobs by
accelerating environmental cleanup work. This report says that DOE
managed its timetables well enough, but it also indicates that so far,
the jobs that DOE created cost $194,213 each, said U.S. Rep. Joe
Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce
While DOE reports that it created 10,018 jobs through May of this
year, the department has also used a more unorthodox methodology to
inflate job creation in some of its reports, a methodology the GAO
says may mislead the public. For example, using the method GAO was
critical of, the agency reports roughly 20,000 jobs created through
May of this year, counting the number of lives touched in some
Barton and Walden, then-ranking member of the Oversight and
Investigations Subcommittee, asked the GAO in March 2009 to examine
the Department of Energy's management of the stimulus funding for
environmental cleanup. U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, later
joined the request when he became the subcommittee's ranking member.
It seems our concerns about DOE's ability to effectively and
efficiently used the funds given to them have become reality. This is
yet another example of how, despite the White House's assertions, the
almost $1 trillion of stimulus funding has failed to stimulate
anything other than government bureaucracy, Burgess said.
The lawmakers were concerned about the department's ability to
manage the extra $6 billion in funding DOE was provided in the
stimulus effort, given the agency's difficulty in managing
environmental cleanup spending in a cost-effective manner. The funds
were supposed to create jobs and promote economic recovery by
expanding and accelerating the environmental cleanup of hazardous and
radiological waste at the nation's nuclear weapons complex.
The report shows DOE has taken some positive steps to manage the
spending and meet project timetables, but also finds that DOE does not
clearly show how the funding has impacted job creation or will reduce
environmental risks and future cleanup costs.
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