It is no secret that most government bureaucracies waste significant amounts of taxpayer funds each year. According to a recent Senate investigation, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is not excecption. But first, some background on the NSF: – The NSF is an independent government agency created as a result of the National Science Foundation Act back in 1950. – The mission of the Foundation is to “promote the progress of science, to advance national health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense. – The Foundation operates independently, the information only for the President who appointed director of the Foundation and that needs to be confirmed by the Senate. – The director serves a term of six years and leads a 24 member National Science Board, which meets six times a year. – Was created to help the U.S. continue to lead in scientific development after the Second World War. Is supposed to be the sole government agency responsible for conducting and funding research in basic sciences. Throughout its existence, sixty years, the NSF says it has been instrumental in many scientific fields that made our lives better or easier: – NSF asserts that Internet technology began with the government-funded projects the creation of networks including the NSFNET and that in mid 1980, the NSF was the primary financial support from the Internet. – The NSF says he has been instrumental, in collaboration with Google and IBM in the development of cloud computing research and development. – Funds from the NSF was important in developing barcode packaging, which dates back to 1970. – The applicant NSF supports research leading ot the development of MRI technology. – In 1985, NSF researchers developed “buckyballs,” a form of clusters of carbon composite, which can be used to help diagnose, treat and prevent serious diseases. These achievements come from the NSF itself, as documented in a recent report by Senate investigators. Fine achievements, all of them, and probably many others not listed here. However, the Senate report, while respective of previous developments, it was not very kind to NSF today in three areas: research projects are not primary, the lack of monitoring of research dollars and effort and expense unnecessary administration of taxpayer money. According to the report, the NSF spent taxpayer money in the past and at present the following projects: – How to ride a bike. – When dogs become man’s best friend? – Are genetically determined political views? – How to improve wine quality. – Do the children like to play with trucks and girls like to play with dolls? – How do rumors get started. – Do parents choose baby names in fashion? – When is the best time to buy a ticket to a sporting event? – How much housework does a husband create for his wife? – A virtual recreation of the 1964/1965 World’s Fair. – Sponsoring a YouTube rap video. – A review of ticket prices for events at Stub Hub. – What motivates people to make political donations. – How do politicians use the Internet. – The impact of YouTube in 2008 U.S. election. – A study to determine if it plays Farmville helps adults develop and maintain relationships. – A study on why college basketball teams seem to dominate it March Madness. – A study on whether users online dating site are racist in their dating habits. In an era of record budget deficits, do we really want to spend our limited tax dollars on such research projects? In these days of gasoline prices of $ 4.00, do you really want to spend our limited tax dollars on research Farmville? In these times of terrorism, do you really want to spend the money of our taxpayers limited in everything related to the 1964/1965 World’s Fair? Did you know that neither the director nor any of its 24 board members knew what was happening and what was being funded or actually think that these expenses were good? If they do not know what was happening, they should be fired for dereliction of duty. If you knew what was going on these projects, they need to be fired for dereliction of duty and loss of taxpayer money. The second area of waste and inefficiencies were on follow-up research projects: – According to the Senate inquiry, the NSF “has no adequate oversight of its grant funds, which has led to significant mismanagement, fraud and abuse.” – Internal reporting and audit identified several types of mismanagement that led to hundreds of millions of dollars lost to inefficient procurement. – Instead of being the only entity responsible for scientific research, NSF is one of at least 15 federal departments, 72 federal agencies and 12 independent federal agencies involved in research and development. These multi-agency lead to extensive mismanagement, fraud, inefficiency and duplication. – The Senate inquiry into these multiple research organizations found that there were at least 65 million dollars wasted on low priority projects (see list), $ 19 million lost to fraud total, 1.2 billion U.S. dollars lost due to duplication, and another $ 1900000000 lost to other forms of mismanagement. – The Federal Office of Inspector General (IG) found that the NSF does not have a good background in process or oversight of how taxpayer money spent by dealers who receives it. – The Inspector General found that many researchers in the NSF and beneficiaries do not submit final reports and annual progress reports as required, with a 2005 audit calculated that approximately 47% of the 151,000 required project reports were submitted late or never. – Although the NSF has a policy that prevents an investigator to obtain new funding from the NSF, if the previous project’s final report is not filed, the audit found that nearly 13% of researchers who have not submitted final report, in fact, receive grant money again. – The IG concluded that although the NSF has sought to improve its management processes, “the IG believes that the monitoring of subsidies remains an ongoing management challenge at the NSF.” In other words, it still stinks. – And worst of all opinion comes from a well-known analyst of political science, Daniel Sarwwitz. He is quoted in the Senate report, saying: “The NSF and other civilian research agencies lack the necessary attributes for success, including a specific mission.” Wow, not only the NSF to spend and to waste taxpayer money on silly projects and unimportant, it obviously does not know how to handle the billions and billions of dollars given to researchers approved, leading to fraud, duplication, mismanagement, and total, total resources in vain. But there’s more! Note how poorly the agency operates from an administrative point of view outside the awkwardness of the research efforts: – The report documented that some employees of the NSF spent more time searching the Internet for pornography at work than actually doing his job. A senior employee of the NSF were found to have been at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and online chat with nude or partially clothed women. – These breaks for only the NSF employee cost the U.S. taxpayers between $ 13,800 and $ 58,000. – In total last year, ten employees of the NSF have been cases of misconduct against him and seven of the ten surf porn at work. – The administrative misuse of the NSF has become so bad that the IG could not estimate how much money was lost in this type of behavior. – Not to be outdone by Internet pornography simple navigation, an NSF employee was fired when he organized a gelatin wrestling event at the station of the NSF research in Antarctica. These employees struggle gelatin is supposed to care for 451 million U.S. dollars annual investment of NSF in Antarctica. – A couple of employees of the NSF, which were found to be romantically involved fraudulently run up $ 144,152 in expenses as a result of its 47 trips as a whole. – The audit found millions of dollars were wasted on alcohol and other unauthorized expenditures, not research. So, in summary, according to the Senate inquiry, the NSF wastes billions of taxpayer dollars on stupid projects that hold no benefit for the American public can not properly track and document the results of the money they spend on all research projects, and administratively, we have an organization that is out of control when it comes to focus on research and spending money in their mission. Instead, money, resources and time spent on pornography, jelly wrestling, a romance in the budget of the NSF, and alcohol. What a shame. And what is even worse. According to the report of the Senate, Congress recently approved a bill to double NSF funding over the next seven years. So, instead of losing much of its current budget of 6.9 billion U.S. dollars each year, the NSF, if there is no base under control, will soon lose much of its $ 14 billion budget in the near future. As a country heading rapidly towards bankruptcy, we can not afford to waste this kind of incompetence. To help reduce govenrment spending, an important step in this effort would be a complete reason to audit all government entities such as the NSF. This audit could lead to a complete review of all administrative and operational processes, accountability and inserts its director and 24 board members who obviously have not been doing its job in managing agency effective and efficient scientific research. Included in this ground up approach would be a serious attempt to return to the original intent of the NSF, where was the government agency separate investigation. There would be no dozen federal departments and agencies doing scientific research, these organizations would be reduced and consolidated, and the cost savings passed on to the taxpayer. Another important improvement in this area would be the reorientation of the NSF only pertinent issues of our time. NSF research, and any government investigation at this time, should focus only on improvements in health, national defense and technology to combat terrorism, alternative energy development, improving education and treatment of abuse drugs. If the federal government could make a substantial improvement, effective and efficient only in these areas of scientific interest, then the American public would probably be more than willing to give up the investigation, and the tax money spent in Farmville, the baby names, and other wastes fool above.