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Dr. Coburn Releases New Oversight Report on the Department of Justice Wasting Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Recreational Activities

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Dr. Coburn has released a new oversight report "Party at the DOJ" that describes how DOJ is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on recreational activities that are undermining DOJ's core mission to enforce the law, prevent crime and administer justice.

Dr. Coburn writes in the report:

With our nation facing the heightened threats of domestic terrorism and unprecedented debt and financial challenges, taxpayers should be shocked to learn DOJ crime prevention grant programs are paying for parties and rollercoaster rides for children rather than focusing on investigating crimes, locating and prosecuting terrorists, and administering justice.

This report, "Party at the DOJ," examines a number of recent recreational activities funded by DOJ and a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) review that found DOJ does not track the amount spent on recreational activities or the outcomes associated with those activities. The report also makes recommendations to help DOJ better adhere to its mission and protect taxpayers' funds from misuse.

Craft-making, bowling, and trips to water parks were among the activities GAO identified as being paid for by DOJ. The Department's own manual for grantees even recommends spending federal crime prevention funds on parties and trips. A review of recent activities sponsored by DOJ grantees identified luaus, a Mardi Gras party, block parties, a film festival, a carnival, skateboarding, dancing, fashion shows, and even a doughnut eating contest as among the recreational activities made possible with federal crime prevention funding.

While many of these may be fun or even educational, there is little data to demonstrate how these types of initiatives advance the mission of DOJ, which is "to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."

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