If there is one thing you can be certain of, it’s government incompetency. It seems as though incompetency is a main characteristic of government, especially in our state. Here are three recent instances of government incompetency that will leave you scratching your head.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs office in Seattle losing veteran’s
This week, auditors discovered that the VA office in Seattle incorrectly sent letters to dozens of military veterans informing them that they would lose their unemployment benefits despite service-connected disabilities.
According to a VA Inspector General report, the Seattle office lost track of records these veterans submitted. Auditors sampled 132 employment questionnaires and discovered “a fifth of veterans had been notified of an incorrect reduction or cancellation in benefits.”
The audit was initiated “after a complaint implied that about 1,000 pieces of unread mail from veterans were being stored indefinitely in a yellow bucket.” Auditors paid a visit to the office in an attempt to find the “yellow bucket,” but they did not. However, employees seemed far too familiar with what auditors were talking about.
The treatment of veterans due to government incompetency is truly shocking.
- The Washington State Department of Transportation’s I-405 tolling scheme and all the trouble that comes with it.
There seems to be no end to the troubles that have resulted from WSDOT’s poorly designed I-405 tolling scheme. Examples of WSDOT’s incompetency include,
- Collisions have more than doubled on the congested freeway during the tolling scheme’s opening week compared to the same week in 2014. Making matters worse, in an effort to deflect blame for what has been called a poorly planned layout, the agency points to the drivers’ learning curve as the cause of the increase in accidents.
- The enforcement aspect on the I-405 tolling scheme—particularly Washington State Patrol’s ability to ensure compliance—has faced serious scrutiny. The State Patrol raised its concerns with WSDOT early on in the planning stages of I-405, but was rebuffed and dismissed. Instead, the State Patrol was informed that the project set aside $3 million for “troopers to conduct overtime emphasis patrols on the same enforcement criteria.” Of course, throwing more tax dollars at a bad design does not improve the bad design. It just proves government incompetency.
- Washington State Ferries spending $5.3 million of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on generators only to later discover that they don’t work on ferries.
This particular case of government incompetency only gets worse when you discover the whole story. State Ferries has been paying $3,500 per month to store the unused generators for the past nine years. That’s an additional $378,000 of taxpayer dollars wasted.
In an attempt to auction off the unused generators, the ridiculous agency listed them on the Public Surplus website with an opening price of $300,000 last month. There are no bids for the nine-year-old generators.