Viewpoint: Guest editorial- Audit needed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: Guest editorial- Audit needed

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

This is a Guest Editorial from retired federal auditor Robert Rehberg.

Were you upset to learn we give free or reduced price lunches to school children whose parents make too much money?

Did it upset you to learn no one seemed to know whether an investigation could or would be made because of federal constraints? 

Well, I was upset too. So, I wrote Georgia Senators Chambliss and Isakson for help.  After all, in the Senate, Saxby has oversight on the USDA and its National School Lunch Program.  And I knew the Government Accountability Office, an agency of Congress, has the legal authority to investigate it. 

Further, I felt both would surely be interested in knowing that due to fraud, we were feeding children of the "greedy" as we fed children of the "needy." 

Lastly, since schools in New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina had recently reported the identical problem, it should be of some national concern.

My letters in January and March asked for an audit and what actions were planned.  But, if nothing were planned, I wanted to know why nothing would be done, so I could share the information with you. 

After no acknowledgment, I followed up and there were a few emails and phone calls with Saxby's staffers in the next two months.  But no plan or solution was offered and the mail still was not answered.   

So recently, after six silent months, I sent a "frowny face" email to staffers with copies to local media.  The next day, I received a phone call asking "Who are you and how did you get to us?" Good grief guys, isn't this where we started 10 months ago?

It seems to me you folks in Washington are separated from us by more than geography these days.  We seem to have concerns you don't share, likely because it is not election time when money and votes are needed. 

But when election time comes, perhaps it's our turn to ask "Who are you?" since you don't seem to know us now.

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