Security spending under Pruitt increased “without documented justification,” EPA watchdog finds

The Environmental Protection Agency’s spending on former EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s security detail soared during his tenure “without documented justification,” the EPA watchdog said in a report released Tuesday morning. 

Without any relevant documentation, it’s hard to say whether the constant protection was justified, the EPA inspector general found. Spending on the administrator’s security for his Protective Service Detail (PSD) increased from $1.6 million to $3.5 million from February 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017 — a 110 percent increase compared to a similar time frame for former EPA head Gina McCarthy. Pruitt, as CBS News has reported, used an around-the-clock security detail upon assuming his post at the time. Facing intense public pressure over multiple ethics scandals, he resigned in July

“The PSD lacks policies, procedures and standard operating procedures for the operational and administrative functions it performs,” the inspector general found. “Further, the services that the PSD provides to the administrator are based on management decisions rather than being supported by a threat analysis. As a result, the costs of providing increased security services to Administrator Pruitt have more than doubled compared to the costs of services provided to Administrator McCarthy.” 

  • Pruitt asked aide to acquire used Trump Hotel mattress

Pruitt has been replaced by Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler who, according to the inspector general, nixed the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week protection upon taking over the agency. 

“The decision to have 24/7 protection for the administrator was made prior to his arrival without using a threat analysis to determine the proper level of protection required,” the watchdog found. ” … The increased costs associated with this undocumented decision represents an inefficient use of agency resources. On July 13, 2018, the now-acting administrator required that the 24-hour/7 day-a-week protection be eliminated and replaced with the portal-to-portal.” 

At the time of his resignation, Pruitt was still under multiple federal investigations, so the inspector general’s recent report is unlikely the last. 

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