Aiken County, SC (WLTX) - The Savannah River site gave out millions of dollars to workers that the federal department of energy says wasn't supposed to be paid out.
The Energy Department says the Savannah River site paid out $7.7 million in severance packages to contract workers.
Our partners with the Washington Guardian say this is what happened.
They report 526 contract workers at SRS who were hired to temporary jobs under the stimulus package were not given the 60 day layoff notice required under federal law. When those contracts ended - the workers were given about $14,600 each in severance money that the energy department did not plan to spend.
From what the Washington Guardian has uncovered, the Energy Department knew for months that these stimulus jobs were coming to an end, and they had plenty of time to send the legally required layoff warnings. But because the Savannah River Site leadership did not provide that notice to these workers, they had to pay the nearly $8 million.
We're told the projects at SRS included clean up of nuclear material and infrastructure improvements.
Watchdog groups worry the same mistake could be made at other government agencies that had this kind of temporary work under the stimulus program.