A recent report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel revealed that the ATF unlawfully paid agents more than $20 million in wrongful benefits using taxpayer funds.
According to that report, ATF intentionally misclassified jobs as law enforcement positions and paid those employees benefits to which they were not entitled.
The sum of the findings totaled about 20 million dollars over five years to 108 ATF employees. That’s around 37 thousand dollars a year in salary and retirement benefits per employee.
As detailed by the OSC’s report, these actions were ATF leadership’s standard operating procedure for many years.
A quote from the report surmised that the actual cost could be much higher given that the unlawful job classifications had been common practice at ATF far longer than the five-year timeframe reviewed by investigators.
It’s interesting that this report was released about a week after the House Judiciary Committee hearing that ATF Director Steve Dettelbach testified at.
🚨BREAKING🚨@ATFHQ systemically committed financial crimes & used taxpayer dollars to pad the salaries of AT LEAST 108 bureaucrats.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) May 3, 2023
Still, Congress cannot turn a blind eye to ATF’s corruption and this rogue agency must be held accountable.
Additionally, the OSC stated in their press release that they have notified President Biden and Congress of their findings. Yet, the Biden Administration has done nothing to withdraw its proposed budget for fiscal year 2024. Instead, The Biden Administration would rather reward ATF for its financial crimes with a 13.6% increase over the 2023 budget—raising the operating budget to nearly $2 billion.
DEFUND 👏 THE 👏 ATF 👏 https://t.co/5JghPBa03J
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) May 2, 2023
Meanwhile, law-abiding gun owners applying for their tax stamps continue to suffer extremely long paperwork delays on registration forms which should not even exist in the first place.
When it comes to ATF finances, OPM’s report states that:
“ATF leadership had acted outside of the merit system principles and demonstrated disregard for the rule of law and regulations.”
The American people deserve transparency from these unelected agency bureaucrats at ATF.
Another telling quote as to the extent of the issue can be found on page 4 of the report. It reads:
“The whistleblowers expressed their views that the report did not adequately capture the extent of ATF’s illegal practice of the full impact of the harm.”
This revelation only serves to highlight the double standards that exist between the treatment of gun dealers and the ATF itself. The fact is that the very agency that puts gun dealers out of business for a single infraction is itself bilking the taxpayers for millions of dollars illegally.
We can only hope that more brave whistleblowers continue to bring these issues to the public’s attention, and, hopefully, the attention of Congress as well.
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