WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS) today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt seeking further information regarding EPA’s management of contractors. Specifically, the committee is examining whether the agency has the internal controls necessary to effectively manage the agency’s contractor workforce.
Walden, Shimkus, and Harper write, “Last year, EPA OIG found ‘EPA is unaware of the number of contractors who have significant information security responsibilities’ at the agency. Additionally, EPA OIG found that the agency lacks processes for determining whether ‘contractors who play a key role in agency operations have the training required to fulfill their responsibilities, or have completed required background investigations for contractor personnel in high-risk positions.’ While EPA has taken steps to address these issues, recent audit work by EPA OIG continues to demonstrate challenges relating to the EPA’s management of contractors.”
At a September 2017 Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised concerns that while contractors make up a significant amount of EPA’s budget, contractors are not incorporated into the agency’s planning.
The members concluded, “Between fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2017, EPA spent over $6 billion on contracts. Given the agency’s substantial investment in contracts and the important role of contractors at EPA, it is important to have processes and procedures in place to effectively oversee the contractor workforce.”
To read the letter online, click HERE.