Report Shows National Archives Spent $430K on License Plate Scanner System That Doesn't Work

An audit revealed the National Archives spent $430K on a faulty license plate scanner system.

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The National Archives building in Washington, D.C. The archives agency spent heavily on a license plate scanner for its Maryland's facility's parking lot, an audit shows.

Your taxpayer dollars at work: an audit by the Inspector General of the National Archives and Records Administration has found that the archiving agency spent $430,000 on a license plate scanning system with a faulty design.

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The audit was conducted in June 2012 but only just now released to the public after a Freedom of Information request by the government transparency group MuckRock.

The automatic license plate recognition system, which was installed in the National Archives' College Park, Md., facility parking lot, is not fully functional, according to the audit. E-mails about why the system was purchased were deleted, and one worker even tried to access the license plates for personal reasons, the report says.

The deleted emails mean the National Archives has "a lack of recourse to apply against the vendor" and with it "the loss of taxpayer funds in an austere budget environment," the investigators wrote.

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After the audit was published, the head Archivist of the United States David Ferriero said he would follow the recommendations in the report, including an examination of the parking controls currently in place.

National Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman tells Whispers the College Park license plate reader system is now functioning, but declined to comment on any of the system's faults or vulnerabilities.


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