Government auditors revealed this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007.
According to media reports, the report was filed last week by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the agency overseeing the CDC. In 2007, auditors checked on 200 randomly selected items and found that 15 were lost or not inventoried. Among the missing equipment was an $1.8 million hard disk drive and a $978,000 video conferencing system.
The Associated Press reported that CDC Director Thomas Frieden agreed with the report's conclusions, but said that better controls have since been implemented. On Dec. 29, a spokeswoman for the CDC told the media outlet that all but four of the missing items from the 2007 audit — including the two most expensive pieces — had since been recovered.
The watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) criticized the agency for its lack of diligence on the taxpayer's dime.
"It's just a good thing they haven't lost any diseases," CAGW president Tom Schatz told the AP.
The Hill reported that the CDC was cited for sloppy record keeping in a 1995 audit as well. The latest examination was requested by Congress, according to the news source.