"The Interior Department announced on Wednesday that it was ending an oil and gas royalty program that ignited a scandal last year when it was disclosed that federal employees had engaged in corruption, drug use and sexual misconduct with oil industry officials. Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, told a House committee that he was phasing out the royalty-in-kind program, which is administered by the department’s Minerals Management Service. It allows oil companies to pay the government in oil and gas rather than in cash for the right to drill on federal lands. Recent audits have shown that the government has failed to collect tens of millions of dollars worth of royalties owed it under the program." John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss report for the New York Times September 16, 2009.