The government definitely has a tendency to overpay for things. My husband, for example, recently became a government employee, and there was a digital camera on the roster of equipment he’s in charge of which couldn’t be found. It finally turned up just at the point where he would have had to replace it (the guy who was supposed to turn it over to him still had it in his desk), but he certainly wouldn’t have had to pay more then $100 for the same camera the government had paid $800 for. We’re talking an off-the-shelf digital cheapie. And there wasn’t even any shipping and handling involved!
The government’s ability to waste money is truly legendary. But to overpay that much for shipping & handling charges? It really makes me wonder if the invoice-approver was in on the scam. I honestly don’t know how they could have gotten away with it in the first place otherwise.