So Physicists May Not Get Their Stimulus Bucks for a While ...

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

An Inspector General report yesterday from the Department of Energy says that the $24 billion agency—which grew to roughly $34 billion with the boost it got in the economic stimulus package this year—is understaffed when it comes to its ability to give out money. That's a problem, because grants and contracts are the main way it functions. DOE just got $1.2 billion to give out for basic physical sciences and $400 million for futuristic energy studies at ARPA-E.

From Government Executive:

Energy is responsible for about $40 billion in Recovery Act funds. In February, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced plans to expedite stimulus spending at the department, citing a sense of urgency created by rising unemployment.

But the latest report in a series of recent audits by Inspector General Gregory Friedman casts doubt on the department's ability to adequately manage those funds along with an already overwhelming acquisition workload.

I've asked DOE for a comment.

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