Now that’s a royal flush.
The Air Force last week admitted to paying out about $10,000 apiece to replace toilet seat covers on a Vietnam-era cargo plan that is still being used, The Washington Post reported.
The toilet seat covers on the C-5 Galaxy is no longer in production so the government needed to purchase customized ones, the report said. The government purchased the covers three times and as recent as last year, the report said.
“We are not now, nor will we in the future buy that aircraft part at that price, because we can now do so more cheaply using 3-D printing,” a spokesman told the paper. “Using this new process allows us to make parts that are no longer in production and is driving major cost savings.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, pushed for an investigation into the spending, ABC News reported. The call came after an interview with Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Airforce for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and DefenseOne.
Grassely said government waste is not in itself new. During the President George H.W. Bush administration, oversight efforts uncovered soap dishes that cost $117 and pliers that cost nearly $1,000.
Roper told the website in May, "You'll think, 'There's no way it costs that, No, it doesn't, but you're asking a company to produce it and they're [busy] producing something else.”
Military.com reported that Roper was making the case for 3D printing in the Air Force.
The Air Force said it will now rely on 3-D printing that will lower the price tag to $300.