| May 20, 2010

This week in government waste

The Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System is spending nearly $105,000 on office renovations and new furniture, according to an investigation by, despite having unfunded liabilities of more than $9 billion.

The investigation found that OTRS awarded a construction bid in the amount of $104,789 to J.W. Walker & Company of Oklahoma City on December 3, 2009. Construction began several weeks ago.

Eyewitnesses to the squander reported that trash containers with "what appeared to be desks and other furniture in good condition" have been hauled away from the OTRS offices "as many as ten times" during the past few weeks.

A February study by the Pew Center on the States found that Oklahoma has one of the worst funded public pension systems in the nation, while an April report by the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for Educational Choice shows OTRS' unfunded liabilities may be more than $16 billion.

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