The Interior Department’s program to collect billions of dollars annually from oil and gas companies that drill on federal lands is troubled by mismanagement, ethical lapses and fears of retaliation against whistle-blowers, the department’s chief independent investigator has concluded.This has the fingerprints of Gale Norton all over it.
The report, a result of a yearlong investigation, grew out of complaints by four auditors at the agency, who said that senior administration officials had blocked them from recovering money from oil companies that underpaid the government.
It suggested that the agency was too cozy with oil companies and that internal critics had good reason to fear punishment.
In one case, senior officials decided that it would impose a “hardship” on oil companies to demand that they calculate the back interest they owed after having been caught underpaying. The agency itself was years behind in billing the companies, because its computers could not perform the calculations.
You would think that the Iraq war was enough of a "gift" to the oil companies, but no, they want more, they always want more.