Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "federal employees" ...

  • Just sign here: Federal workers max out at taxpayers' expense

    FMCS is a tiny independent federal agency whose director's first order of business was to use federal funds to buy artwork from his own wife, $200 coasters and champagne. The agency paid $85,000 to the phantom company of a just-retired official for no services; spent $50,000 at a jewelry store, supposedly on picture frames to give its 200 employees "tenure awards;" and leased its people $53,000 cars. Large portions of its employees routinely used government credit cards for clearly personal items after merely requesting to have them “unblocked” from restricted items, according to 50,000 pages of internal documents obtained by the Washington Examiner--raising questions about purchase card use in other agencies. Federal employees were charging cell phones for their whole families and cable TV at not just their homes, but their vacation homes too, to the government. Its IT director has had hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-end electronics delivered to his home in West Virginia, and there is no record of many of those items being tracked to federal offices. Many other items billed are highly suspect, such as $500 for single USB thumb drives that retail for $20. Virtually all of its spending circumvented federal procurement laws. When employees pointed out rulebreaking, Director George Cohen forced one accountant to write a letter to the GSA retracting her complaint, had another top employee walked out by armed guards, and fired another whistleblower, a disabled veteran, for missing a day of work while she laid in the ICU. At an agency the size of FMCS, where corruption went to the top, there were no higher levels to appeal to, no Inspector General, and--previously--no press attention.
  • Washington’s Open Secret

    The Government shut-down lasted 16 days, took $24 billion dollars out of the U.S. economy and furloughed 800,000 federal employees. But there was one group in Washington that was able to maintain the lavish lifestyle that many of them have grown accustomed to- Members of Congress.
  • Revealing the Cost of Government Contractors

    Federal procurement actions, whether for information technology, consulting services or project management, occur in a black box, closed off to the public and opaque to the inquiries of journalists and the public. For the most part, failures of these contractors remain low profile. That is, until the calamitous launch of Healthcare.gov, when the public saw firsthand--on a website that millions needed to use to secure health insurance--how badly these highly paid, politically connected firms and the federal employees who supposedly oversee them had done their handiwork.
  • The Suspicion Within

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.
  • Perfectly Legal

    The investigation exposed how a network of charities orchestrated a scheme to move more than $130 million in cash and goods from one charity to another while doing almost no charitable work. By manipulating federal tax laws and taking advantage of lax federal oversight, these charities inserted themsevles into the government's annual charity drive (the largest of its kind in the world) and reaped millions of dollars in donations from unsuspecting federal employees.
  • The Deadly Dust

    Fox Five found that in the 1990s the National Institutes of Health was not having employees wear the required safety gear, exposing them to asbestos. Using a hidden camera, they were able to confirm that even now employees were still being exposed.
  • Irradiating the mail

    The Roll Call reports on the U.S. Postal Service's practice of irradiating the mail following the delivery of Anthrax to politicians via the mail in late 2001. "To combat the presence of the deadly white powder, the postal service started to irradiate the mail sent to Capitol Hill offices." The practice drew complains from federal employees. The mail was "brittle, yellow, smelly and powdery. Employees reported that handling the mail caused various illnesses including headaches, skin and eye irritation and bleeding from the ears. The major complaints lasted for three months as the postal service tinkered with the radiation dosage used to cleanse the mail. By April, the number of illnesses logged over several weeks decreased from 131 to fewer than 10 cases. During this time, the radiation dosage decreased by 20 percent.
  • Limiting What Bureaucrats Rubber-Stamp As "Top Secret"

    With over three million federal employees who can mark documents classified, the amount of classified information has grown into stacks billions of pages deep, the Christian Science Monitor reports. New efforts are underway in Washington to both limit what can be classified and to declassify already classified material.
  • (Untitled)

    Milwaukee Journal finds several problems with the U.S. water supply, inlcuding pork barrel projects which put public health at risk, neglect by state and federal employees, and the fact that the nation's largest outbreak of waterborne illness was predicted in over 1,000 scientific reports which weren't acted on, Sept. 19 - 26, 1993.