Photo Credit: BreitbartAn Inspector General’s report from the Department of Energy (DOE) recently revealed that the LG Chem auto battery plant in Holland, Michigan “inappropriately claimed and was reimbursed for labor costs that did not support the purpose/objective” of a government grant.
According to the IG’s office, this included the costs for staffers to perform “volunteer activities, play games and watch movies during regular work hours.”
The IG points the finger at LG Chem and DOE, saying Department officials did not establish appropriate oversight protections into the $142 million grant that was awarded to LG Chem to build the Holland plant.
Notably, LG Chem Michigan did not fully realize the grant’s target goals, and the Department did not always take sufficient action to ensure adequate oversight of project progress and, in turn, protect the taxpayers $142 million investment in the project. For instance, LG Chem Michigan officials told us that they made a decision to delay production of battery cells at the Michigan facility…
NETL officials commented that it was anticipated at the time the grant was awarded that the transition of production from non-U.S. sources to Michigan would occur; however, language requiring the shift in production had not been incorporated into the grant… until the shift in production takes place or some alternative use for the plant is developed, U.S. taxpayers will receive little direct benefit from a plant for which they provided up to half of the funding.
LG Chem told Michigan local television news that LG Chem workers play games and view films because the plant does not manufacture batteries for consumer use.
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