The Smithsonian Institution has lost $12.3 million in property, said a Washington Post report. The Smithsonian’s inspector general, A. Sprightley Ryan, told a Congressional committee that management had “failed to hold employees responsible” for stealing office equipment and other items, including 89 laptop computers, since 2005. An investigation showed that procedures for registering and disposing of facility materials and for following up on missing items were not enforced by managers.
Ryan’s report to the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies also revealed that $550,000 earmarked by Congress to help maintain and repair the Smithsonian’s aging structures was instead spent on two capital construction projects during 2008.
According to the report, the Smithsonian intends to hire three full-time employees devoted to managing property issues. “We are satisfied that the likeliness of this happening again will be minimal,” Ms. Ryan said.