Chump's Change

DOE Official Calls $60 million 'Paltry' Sum

REP. JOE BARTON: My first question is: Do you know how much DOE spent on travel last year?

JOHNS: I could do the math for you—I don’t have the number off the top of my head.

BARTON: Do the other two witnesses know that number?

FRIEDMAN: I don’t know the answer, Mr. Barton, but what’s really interesting is the amount of money spent by the federal employees is a paltry amount compared to the amount spent by the facility management contractors of their department. That’s where the big bucks obviously are.

BARTON: Do you want to put numbers on those? When you say paltry that’s a pretty general term.

FRIEDMAN: I have not looked at the number. My understanding is it’s in the $60 million range.

BARTON: $60 million for the contractors?

FRIEDMAN: No, $60 million for the feds.

BARTON: Oh, that’s paltry.

FRIEDMAN: Compared to the contractors. Let me be clear about that.

BARTON: Okay, if $60 milion’s paltry, you’re saying the contractors spend several hundred million on travel?

FRIEDMAN: I don’t have that analysis. I would suspect several hundred million is an understatement.

BARTON: Can you get it?

FRIEDMAN: I cannot get it easily, no.

BARTON: Mr. Johns could get it. Will you get it and provide it to the members of the committee on both sides of the aisle?

JOHNS: Yes, sir.