By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearWire
Despite the vast majority of federal government employees working from home during the pandemic years of 2020, 2021 and 2022, federal agencies purchased $3.3 billion in new furniture, OpenTheBooks.com auditors found.
Most major federal agency headquarters were one-quarter full or less, and none were at 50% capacity or more, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.
The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Agriculture and the General Services Administration each used only 9% of their office space.
The DOT spent $55 million on furniture, Agriculture spent $57 million, while GSA spent a whopping $308 million on furniture, OpenTheBooks.com found.
Department of Veterans Affairs used just 16% of its office space and spent $428 million on furniture, while the Department of Justice used just 35% of its office space yet spent $408 million on furniture.
Department of Defense utilized just 23% of office space and spent a massive $1.2 billion on furniture — the biggest furniture spender over five years, totaling $2.1 billion in 2018-2022.
The State Department spent $302 million and Homeland Security spent another $156 million on furniture.
“As Congress continues to fight over spending, we want to make it clear that there are massive amounts of money being appropriated, spent, wasted and sometimes hidden from the taxpayer,” OpenTheBooks.com Founder & CEO Adam Andrzejewski said.
“In the case of office furniture, most federal headquarters are barely a quarter full on a given workday, and no major agency is at more than half capacity. Yet for some reason we’ve bankrolled another billion dollars in desks, chairs, couches and more – while employees clock in from their own living rooms.”
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