Watchdog: Accountability

Sometimes 'single soldiers Bible study' actually means 'let's play video games'

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Watchdog,Watchdog Blog,Sunlight Foundation,Waste and Fraud,Accountability,Ethan Barton,FOIA

Federal agencies have solicited video game consoles and related media for years, according to postings on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Mostly, these were purchased for entertainment on U.S. military bases, both domestic and abroad, as well as in Veteran’s Affairs hospitals.

However, there have been some unusual contracts as well. In 2008, for example, the Army paid more than $16,000 for four Xboxes, 12 controllers, 11 televisions and four copies of Halo 3 for Fort Bliss, Texas.

The solicitation on the FBO website was titled “Support equipment for single soldiers bible study” and was classified under “training aids and devices.”

Two days earlier, the solicitation was originally posted with the title “Support equipment for youth programs.”

Also in 2008, the Air Force from its Dover, Del., base solicited a contract for media center equipment.

The contract sought items such as a 37-inch television, a DLP projector, speakers and subwoofers for both in-wall and in-ceiling, a PlayStation 3, an Xbox 360, a Wii and an ethernet touch screen.

In 2002, the National Guard solicited a contract to customize a heavy mobile multi-wheeled vehicle, including a Sony PlayStation and an eight changer CD player.

The solicitations became public as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sunlight Foundation.

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