Havana beats the South Pole

State Department employees sent on temporary assignments to Havana are given a $316 daily allowance for lodging, meals and incidentals. The daily allowance, known as a per diem, ranges from $149 to $244 outside the capital. The latest federal guidelines show the rates for 895 cities. The top three were Valencia, Spain; $729; Edinburg, Scotland, … Read more

Rocky transition in Colombia despite U.S. aid

U.S. government agencies have poured nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars into Colombia since 2017. The Agency for International Development led the way with $349,429,424 in grants and contracts followed by the State Department with $292,510,963 and the Department of Defense, $72,437,788. See details of U.S. grants and aid to Colombia, along with a list … Read more

Brother, can you spare $2 billion?

The federal government was shut down for most of January, but still managed to report $2,280,273,306 in spending. See details. The top three spending categories were: Engineering services, $204,549,134 Security guards and patrol services, $201,549,259 Computer systems design services, $177,473,195 A few other spending areas included: Temporary help, $24,649,752 Irradiation apparatus, $12,741,346 Ambulance services, $6,920,371 … Read more

Not quite as secret

The U.S. government spends so much money that it’s difficult to comprehend. I create interactive graphics to make it easier to follow the money. My sense is that U.S. agencies that manage Cuba projects are more transparent than they were in around 2009 when I first started looking at these projects. Agencies still shield some … Read more

USAID increasingly involved in anti-terrorism effort

The U.S. Agency for International Development is not a military organization, but says it now spends billions of dollars every year countering ISIS and other extremists organizations in Iraq, Syria and other nations. The agency’s website says its fiscal 2019 budget “will enable USAID to protect America’s security at home and abroad.” USAID says that … Read more