USDA: Home of the $2 Million Internship

Posted: Aug 12, 2012 6:00 PM
The USDA is at it again. The bloated government bureaucracy is not content with spending your tax dollars on Spanish soap opera advertisements to encourage food stamp participation. Or pushing 'Meatless Monday.' Now, the USDA is ‘investing’ (not spending, of course) $2 million into an internship program that employs one fulltime intern. The Agriculture Department’s Inspector General released a report that highlighted this example of incompetence, among far too may others.

“OCIO [Office of the CIO] funded an intern program for a total of $2 million which, while funded as a security enhancement project, only resulted in one intern being hired full-time for ASOC [the Agriculture Security Operations Center]… This project is intended to develop and sustain a highly skilled IT security and computer technology workforce. Expenditures for FY 2010 and 2011 included over $686,000 for development and implementation of a networking website and approximately $192,500 in housing costs for two summers. While the intern program may be a beneficial step in the long-run, it did little to further the more pressing objective of improving USDA’s IT security.”

In the grand scheme of things, $2 million wasted seems like a drop in the bucket for the Obama administration. The story of the $2 million internship does, however, help illustrate the general incompetence of the federal bureaucracy. Running a cost-effective internship program may have been too much for federal bureaucrats, but I am sure they will get their act together in time to run our healthcare system in 2014.

This post was authored by editorial intern Kyle Bonnell .