The National Institute for Standards and Technology is a bureaucracy that deals with technical standards. It rarely gets any publicity. A Florida Congresswoman is now giving it publicity, all bad.
It has a subdivision, the Manufacturing Extension Program. As with most Washington bureaucracies, no one in Congress has heard of it. Well, almost no one. It spends about $128 million a year. On what? No one knows. Well, almost no one.
It turns out that NIST MEP spends between $3 million to $5 million annually to have a fun-filled weekend. This year, this was in Orlando. Why? Training.
Training. In Orlando.
How about training in (say) Detroit? Anyone at a training meeting in Detroit is going to stay in the building and get trained. No one is going to go out on the streets.
The NIST is indignant at such criticism of its annual training program in Orlando. Doesn’t Congress know how important training is? Why, without training, there would be no science, no progress.
Some nosy whistleblower gave the Congresswoman a heads-up.
Think of this. A bureaucracy spends $3 million on a junket to Orlando, and no one in Congress noticed until a whistleblower blew the whistle. Do you think this government is ready to balance the federal budget?
The Congresswoman has called for hearings. She may get them. It’s an election year. This is good stuff for the folks back home.
The NIST will send some bureaucrat over to explain the junket. Junkets are a way of life in Washington. The program will not have its budget cut. The bureaucrat will not lose his job. Things will return to normal.
The voters will not rise up in outrage.
The deficit will not be cut.
But, for one year, the junket in 2013 may be held in Detroit. In February.