UPDATED 7:46 AM EDT, March 11, 2013 | By Curt Anderson
MIAMI (AP) — Millions of square feet of wasted space in federal courthouses that have opened since 2000 are costing U.S. taxpayers upwards of $51 million a year, congressional auditors reported Thursday.
The 33 courthouses, including the Ferguson Courthouse in downtown Miami, were overbuilt by more than 3.5 million square feet at an initial construction cost of $835 million, according to the study by the Government Accountability Office. That's enough space for nine average-sized courthouses, the GA0 estimated.
The government's fiscal watchdogs have identified more than $5.8 billion in problematic stimulus spending, a figure that dwarfs the election-year statistics the Obama administration is using to tout the integrity of the president's signature economic recovery program, a Washington Guardian review of investigative reports has found.
The Department of Health and Human Services isn't meeting President Barack Obama's high-profile directive to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in government, failing to report all excessive or inappropriate payments from Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs, the agency's internal watchdog warns.