Saturday, March 27, 2010

Government "Accountability"


New York Times
In a nine-month study, four fictitious companies invented by the accountability office also sought EnergyStar status for some conventional devices like dehumidifiers and heat pump models that existed only on paper. The fake companies submitted data indicating that the models consumed 20 percent less energy than even the most efficient ones on the market. Yet those applications were mostly approved without a challenge or even questions, the report said.

Auditors concluded that the EnergyStar program was highly vulnerable to fraud.

Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized. She said she doubted that many of the 40,000 genuine products with EnergyStar status had been mislabeled.

Really, how hard is it to administer the EnergyStar program? You set some standards, have people submit specifications and tests, then you certify the product if it passes. I'm sure it's a bit more involved in real life but it's not that difficult. It seems that people are just sitting around doing nothing yet collecting tax-supported salary. We really shouldn't let the government run anything other than national defense.

I think Ms. Vargas has no clue about the issue at hand. Auditors basically proved that there is no process to validate applications yet she "doubts" that there are any problems. The comment about "no actual product = no fraud" is so stupid that I can't even come up with the appropriate swear words. Maybe this is why our two refrigerators uses up 1/3 of our tier 1 electricity baseline, even though both are EnergyStar approved.

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