It is the eternal connection and cause of crime - money. The love of it, the shortage of it, and desire for more of it has been the spark causing trouble and discord since it was invented. Attempts at social programs designed to equailize access to it and the things it provides are often as riddled with corruption as the piece of Swiss cheese in the fridge for lunch is filled with holes. There is an often seen problem of the inability to use the money of others with sanity and efficiency found in local, state, and federal government offices and agencies. The government, on any level, does not have any money of its own (it does not produce) but rather is dependent on the money (taxes, fees) placed on the citizens (producers). As a result, some of the most absurd waste occurs in and through government agencies.
People were aghast in the 1970's and 1980's when government excess, overspending, and bad business practices were uncovered. The government, which has no money of its own, was spending over $600 dollars for toilet seats! The history and track record of such poor business management and purchasing practices can be traced throughout school districts, government offices, and federal programs over decades.
"Community Action Program" (CAP) was a part of the Johnson era 'war on poverty' program. In the 1970's and early 1980's one program rented space in an empty wing of a local building. They transferred to a 'new building' in an old school building and when they left - they left. The rental space contained metal desks, chairs, filing cabinets, various office furnishings, equipment and supplies. The file cabinets were still full of records, resources, names and addresses. There were files packed with 'plays' about the need for revolution, the need for programs to help addicts by supplying drugs instead of criminalizing them and celebrations of the ability to have free love and safe abortions.
They were getting 'new' furnishings in the new location. Boxes of pencils, pens, paper, paperclips, staples, staplers, and typing/copy paper was simply left behind to be replaced by brand new supplies. Chairs, desks, tables, lamps, electronic pencil sharpeners, file cabinets, trash cans, clocks, and other items were simply left to be replaced by new items in the new location. Who paid for this collossel waste and abuse of publicaly supplied funding?
Take a look in the mirror. The mystery here is one of continued lack of oversight (apparently the government oversight agence catching the military overspending in the 1980's never looked into other domestic agencies). As one of those hired by the building owners, I saw this all first hand, as we cleaned and got ride of the extra 'stuff' the renters left behind. So, stay cautious when you hear some government agencies talk about how efficiently they use their budgets, how cost conscience they are. Waste is easy when it is someone else's dollar and conservation near impossible. The mystery is why we so often continue to allow such abuses to go on without more accountibility.