Federal Waste Report: $500,000 to Maintain One Toilet at Metro Station

By Michael W. Chapman | December 2, 2019 | 12:00pm EST
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) -- In his Fall 2019 Waste Report, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) details $230,672,881.00 in wasted spending by the federal government, including "approximately $500,000" to maintain one self-cleaning toilet at the Huntington Metro Station between 2003 and 2017. 

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit authority (Metro) is expected to spend at least $153,000,000.00 in FY2020, according to the report. This, despite the fact that the Metro experiences "routine service outages, delays, incomprehensible policy choices, and mismanagement of funds," reports Sen. Paul, and in 2019 saw "the lowest ridership in almost 20 years."

 

One of the Metro problems that has consumed at least $500,000 in federal tax money is what the service's inspector general (OIG) has termed "Operation Golden Potty."

"From 2003 to 2017, according to the OIG, Metro spent 'approximately $500,000 maintaining a single self-cleaning toilet located at the Huntington Metro Station,'" states the Waste Report. "The OIG cannot definitively state how much was spent because Metro lost invoices for 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014."


"To make matters worse, the toilet was not user-friendly, a documented experience shared by the news shows — though it did excel at providing some background music for users," according to the Waste Report

Metro defended its installation and operation of the Golden Potty, claiming it was necessary in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The OIG criticized that claim in its review.

(Waste Report, Fall 2019)
(Waste Report, Fall 2019)

"To top it off, the half-million-dollar toilet sat broken and abandoned in the Huntington Station from 2017 to early 2019," according to the Waste Report. "Metro contracted with a private company to clean and maintain the self-cleaning toilet but canceled the contract in 2017."

In early 2019, Metro decommissioned and removed the Golden Potty.  When the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) Subcommittee, headed by Sen. Paul,  "inquired about the current whereabouts of the toilet ... Metro was unable to provide an answer," states the Waste Report


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