Government says Inefficiency due to Old Computers

By: Mark Tapscott
Washington Examiner

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag told a group of business leaders today that the federal government is inefficient because its employees have more advanced computers at home than they do at their offices.

“Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home,” Orszag said. “Now that’s no longer the case.”

You can probably guess what Orszag said next:

“It’s time to bring government into the 21st century,” Orszag told the group. “Information technology has the power to transform how government works and revolutionize the ease, convenience and effectiveness by which it serves the American people.”

Orzag’s speech was reported by The Hill.

Having spent the last 30 years either working in government or covering it as a journalist, I was, frankly, dumbfounded by Orszag’s statement. Here’s why:

Go to and click on the “Spending” tab, then from the drop-down menu that appears, click on “Contracts.” Then in the search box, enter the word “Computer” with or without the quotation marks.

The first time I entered it without the quotation marks and got back a list of 447 companies having the word “Computer” in their names and that have contracts to sell to the federal government in 2009. Total value of those contracts is more than $46 billion.

That’s right, $46 B-I-L-L-I-O-N. So, if OMB Director Orszag is right, Uncle Sam spent $46 billion with computer companies last year but couldn’t drag itself into the 21st century of office technology?

That’s not an indictment of the equipment or the technology being bought, it’s an indictment of the elected officials, their appointed staff members, and career bureaucrats who are doing the buying.

But wait, it gets worse. In 2008, the spending total was nearly $62 billion going to 560 computer companies. The year before that, the total was nearly $91 billion and all those tax dollars went to 632 computer companies. Are we detecting a pattern here yet?

Uncle Sam spends billions upon billions of tax dollars year in and year out with computer companies, but Orszag claims the government’s office computers are obsolete.

Let me hasten to point out that not all of those contracts went only to buy laptops. Lots of printers, software packages, specialized programming, maintenance and repairs, IT system design and integration services, and ink cartridges are covered by those contracts.

But that just drives home the point: Either Orszag is lying or a fool, or we need a whole bunch of new people buying this stuff for government who actually know what they are doing.

One more thing: Less than a third, 30 percent, of the contracts were competitively bid in 2009, while 38 percent were awarded non-competitively for allowable reasons. Could the fact the government is awarding billions of dollars in sole source contracts have anything to do with the situation Orszag claims exists?
Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Nancy, if you think we’ll surrender, I have a message for you…

The Post & E-Mail


by Durus Helm

The Valiant Defense of Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge was immortalized in the film, “Patton.” Above, the first U.S. tank to enter the city (image c/o U.S. Military).

(Jan. 15, 2010) — In light of recent news of the bribe promised to unions during the merging of the Senate and House health care bills which will throw the whole burden of paying for the insanity on to the middle class to force them into the unions and how, for the sake of transparency, Nancy Pelosi stated that the merged version of the health care bill would be posted online for the citizens of America to review for 72 hours before it is voted upon, as one talking head noted, all interested citizens would have to read 500 pages a day to get through it before it was voted on.

In essence, President Obama and Congress will be issuing an ultimatum for the surrender of the citizens of the United States to the health care act monstrosity which they have created.

What should our answer to their ultimatum be?

“Us surrender? Aw, NUTS!”

From the recollections of Lt. General Harry Kinnard, at the time of the siege of Bastogne, a Lieutenant Colonel and Division G-3:

On December 22, 1944, a [Nazi Socialist] German surrender party consisting of two officers and two NCOs and carrying a white flag approached our perimeter in the area of our Glider Regiment, the 327th. The party was taken to a nearby platoon command post. While the enlisted men were detained, the officers were blindfolded and taken to the command post of the 327th where they presented their surrender ultimatum. The ultimatum in essence said the 101st’s position was hopeless and that if we elected not to surrender a lot of bad things would happen.

The message was brought in to the Division Headquarters by Major Alvin Jones, the S-3, and Colonel Harper, the Regimental Commander. They brought the message to me, the G-3, and Paul Danahy, the G-2. My first reaction was that this was a German ruse, designed to get our men out of their foxholes. But be that as it might, we agreed that we needed to take the message up the line. We took it first to the acting Chief of Staff of the Division, Lt. Col. Ned Moore. With him, we took the message to the acting Division Commander General, Tony McAuliffe. Moore told General McAuliffe that we had a German surrender ultimatum. The General’s first reaction was that the Germans wanted to surrender to us. Col. Moore quickly disabused him of that notion and explained that the German’ demanded our surrender. When McAuliffe heard that, he laughed and said, “Us surrender? Aw, nuts!”  The date was December 22nd, 1944.