Latest in Portman’s series of waste: Federal administrative leave

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released another example of wasteful spending by the U.S. government on Friday, citing an audit that revealed extended paid absences given to federal employees.

The report by the Government Accountability Office found 57,000 federal employees were placed on paid administrative leave for a month or longer. The audit states that most of the employees were on paid leave for “alleged misconduct or criminal activities, physical fitness activities, and rest and recuperation for overseas employees.”

A release from Portman’s office expanding on the report claimed the incentives cost taxpayers $700 million, or more than $12,000 per employee.

“Paid administrative leave is an important way to investigate alleged employee misbehavior in an innocent-until-proven-guilty environment,” Portman said. “But frivolous and unnecessarily long investigations turn the process into a lengthy paid vacation at taxpayer expense.”