Department of Labor Spends $2,637 Each Week on Elevator Posters — and More Waste and Frivolity Alleged

by Jillian Kay Melchior

The Department of Labor frivolously spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on elevator posters, book-club promotions, and other wasteful projects, according to a news release issued today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Prominently citing Quin Hillyer’s February National Review Online report, chairman Darrell Issa writes in a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez:

… In 2009, the DOL began producing weekly elevator posters for the 23 passenger elevators at DOL’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to documents obtained by the Committee, since 2009, DOL has spent $2,637 per week producing new posters, for a total of over $600,000.

According to DOL, the posters represent an effective method of communicating with employees. Media reports indicate that DOL deploys up to three communications specialists or artists to produce designs each week. DOL has also reportedly used taxpayer money to hire the Washington Nationals mascot for an agency event and spent over $100,000 to promote a book club. Likewise, DOL employees reportedly spent an inordinate amount of time and money on an internal publication called “Frances Mag.”

That’s not all, as Hillyer wrote: For example, DOL also circulated “instructions from political employees for employees to vote in an online religious poll to declare Frances Perkins, the New Deal-era secretary of Labor, a favorite saint.”

Read more on the Oversight Committee’s investigation here. And, of course, check out Hillyer’s news-breaking report.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.