Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maybe This Is Just Clumsy Writing

Maybe This Is Just Clumsy Writing

It's a June 24, 2003 email from the CRU archive:
From: "Mick Kelly"
To: Nguyen Huu Ninh (
Subject: NOAA funding
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 14:17:15 +0000

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN.
How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn't make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven't spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.
Politically this money may have to go through Simon's institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!
Best wishes
Mick [emphasis added]
Why would you need money to cover the costs of a trip that wasn't made? And the concern that NOAA (that's a U.S. government agency) might become "suspicious" certainly has a whiff of something improper going on.

UPDATE: A reader suggests that the NOAA funding might have been specifically for certain categories of activities, and CRU had used the money as some general purpose funding. That's a very easy mistake to make, and perhaps indicative of careless accounting as opposed to intentional fraud.

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