Report highlights misuse of funds for homeland security

A report released by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting, based in Berkeley, California, includes an interactive map to detail the use of homeland security readiness in all 50 states.

The report, titled "Homeland Security: Boom and Bust," combines data compiled from state and federal documents with an aim of revealing potential misuse of homeland security funds.

According to the map, for example, Whittier, Alaska, which has a population of 175, purchased an incident-command truck for $24,000, two 4x4 all-terrain vehicles and two anthrax detectors. There have, to date, been no reported cases of anthrax infection in the state of Alaska.

Open-record laws were used to compile the data, culled from each state and the District of Columbia. The map shows how and where officials have invested funds for anti-terrorism and preparedness.

Additionally, official government documents, including those from state auditors and overseers, the federal Government Accountability Office, public-interest groups, the Congressional Research Service, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general and congressional committees with public safety responsibilities.

The interactive map allows many of the documents procured by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting to be viewed directly through links on the map.