A dog and his tail, NASCAR, and GAO-12-480R…

Question…  Name three things that will circle pointlessly unless stopped by an outside force.  For dogs, that outside source is either boredom of they forget what they are doing and do something else. For NASCAR, I don’t know.  Never watched a race all the way through. And for GAO-12-480R, it’s voters standing up and complaining about our elected officials wasting too much money and voting them out of office.

Quickly…

The GAO is the Government Accountability Office. By the name alone one has to chuckle.  ”Government” and “accountability” is oxymoronic and I don’t mean just the idiots in office now, I mean throughout time….  Interestingly enough, every single form of government or social grouping ever created since the dawn of time has failed.  Without exception. Furthermore, with the amount of “accountability” in our current elected officials and government departments, you would think that the GAO is staffed by two well meaning accounts constantly pointing out the stupid obvious only to be laughed at and sent back to their cubicle.

*example of an oxymoron, not to scale

This article is not about spending money on the GAO.  I actually think the GAO is good to have within the Imperial Government.  Unecessary if the government runs as it should, but “people” are involved so you can guarantee that the IG won’t run efficiently.  As a result, we do need the GAO.

This from the GAO “About” page:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. *AUTHOR NOTE* I would rather they work for American citizens and not Congress *END NOTE* Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

And for the most part, they do a yeoman’s job of pointing out waste, fraud, and opportunities.  I especially like report GAO-12-740T, “Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale Development.”  In this report, the GAO testifies that:

Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way toward satisfying the nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.

Wow. Enough in one deposit to equal proven global reserves?  Makes sense why we are doing everything we can to prevent this field from being developed. Makes even more sense why the administration has stonewalled attempts at a pipeline to bring any of this oil to market.  Perfect sense.

But I digress….

The GAO report GAO-12-480R was requested by brass at the Pentagon in May of  2010. Apparently the Secretary of Defense noticed that a large amount of money was spent, are you ready, writing reports. So they commissioned, are your ready again, a report on the amount of cost writing reports. For real.  You can read the findings here: GAO Study of Studies

So what does the DOD do about this problem?  They require people to generate a report of the estimated costs of performing a study.  So the study found that completing a cost study of a proposed study was necessary to save money.  I am not making this up.  In addition, read this quote from the GAO Study Study:

In September 2010, the CAPE office, in conjunction with the military services, established the Cost Guidance Group to implement the Secretary of Defense’s requirement to estimate the cost of preparing DOD reports and studies and publish that cost on the front cover.

How much did it cost to get the memo out to everyone that there was a new cover sheet for the reports?

Stranger that fiction.  You can’t make this up. Great movie, by the way.  Will Ferrell has a lot more range as an actor.  But he could never pull of Frightened Inmate #2.

So here we have the IG spending two years and untold tax dollars to write a report on how much money it costs to write reports only to arrive at the decision that a tool is necessary to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the proposed report and report that estimate on the new cover sheet when the other report is done.

I like this line in the findings report referencing the report cost estimator:

The tool, also referred to as a calculator…

Wow.  Just brilliant.

Here’s where I am really lost…  Where is the idiocy?

  1. The volume of reports generated by the DOD is so great that the Secretary of Defense recognized this as a way to reduce costs. Then commissioned a report to find out.
  2. The GAO for spending two years to identify that writing reports is expensive, and putting these findings in a report.
  3. The solution is to to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the report.
  4. Cost of a new report cover sheet.  Did you get the memo?
  5. The post implementation report on how effective the report estimating report generator of the study study was working.
  6. The energy I’ve expending writing a report of the report generator cost estimator report of the study study study report.
  7. All of the above.  Except for the new cover sheet.  I’ll get you another copy of the memo.

At this point I am afraid of finding out exactly how much all of this cost.  Suffice it to say, a lot of money.  As we know, nothing involving the DOD is reasonable.

*The $436 hammer. The Left-handed version was even more.

In Other News of the Ironic, a by-product discovery of the GAO report was an new invention called “the circle” (photo below).

*you know, for kids.

I’m done.

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