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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Wednesday - June 05, 2013

Don’t Worry, Nobody Ever Comes Here

Secret “Man Caves” Found In EPA Warehouse

Fine: lazy and corrupt contractors. But more importantly: WHY does the EPA have a CRATE of diplomatic passports???



A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.

EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse—used for inventory storage—is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.

The EPA has issued a stop work order to Apex Logistics LLC, the responsible contractor, ensuring the company’s workers no longer have access to the site—EPA security officials escorted contractor personnel off the premises on May 17—and ending all payments on the contract.

Since awarding the contract in May 2007, EPA has paid Apex Logistics about $5.3 million, most of which went to labor costs. Conditions at the facility “raise questions about time charges made by warehouse employees under the contract,” the report said.

“The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches,” the IG report said. “These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”

The agency has completed an inventory of the warehouse’s contents and segregated all surplus furniture. EPA has committed to conducting an agency-wide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.

In addition to the secret rooms, the IG found an incomplete and inaccurate recordkeeping system; numerous potential security and safety hazards, including an open box of passports; and “deplorable conditions”—such as corrosion, vermin feces and “pervasive” mold.


A little By The Way: Apex Logistics LLC is owned by China. So why were they even hired by the EPA to run a warehouse in Maryland??


[From the EPA’s own report]:

Our initial research at the EPA’s Landover warehouse raised significant concerns with the lack of agency oversight of personal property and warehouse space at the facility. In particular:
 The warehouse recordkeeping system was incomplete and inaccurate.  The warehouse was filled with considerable valuable amounts of unusable, inoperable and obsolete furniture and other items.  The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces that included such items as televisions and exercise equipment.
 Numerous potential security and safety hazards existed at the warehouse, including unsecured personally identifiable information (such as passports).
 Deplorable conditions existed at the warehouse; corrosion, vermin feces, mold and other problems were pervasive.
As a result of the conditions noted, EPA property at the warehouse was vulnerable to theft and abuse (including personally identifiable information), EPA property was not properly maintained, the EPA may not have received sufficient value for the funds it paid for the warehouse’s operation, and warehouse workers were subjected to unsafe conditions for which the EPA could be held liable.
Agency Corrective Actions
Subsequent to our briefing to the agency on the conditions noted at the warehouse, the agency issued a stop work order to the contractor, ensuring there will be no further access to the site by contractor personnel and that no further costs will be incurred under the contract. Further, the agency has taken the following additional actions:
 Completed an inventory of the warehouse and is seeking an appraisal of
inventoried items.
 Identified and segregated all surplus furniture.
 Reviewed background investigations on warehouse employees.
 Removed flammable materials from the warehouse.
 Performed a health and safety review.
 Reviewed security footage.
The agency also agreed to initiate action addressing personally identifiable information, completing standard operating procedures for the warehouse, developing security plans, and conducting an agencywide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.

Not to worry, your government is on the ball (finally) and taking action:

In addition to the efforts to secure the facility on or before Friday May 17, 2013, the EPA took key actions within the agency to address information security issues identified by OIG. OIT A contacted the Department of State to determine an interim standard operating procedure for the decommissioning of expired or no longer needed government passports for agency personnel. Beginning immediately, the EPA will send expired or unneeded government passports to the Department of State for destruction, until such time as the agency can put in place a passport decommissioning process with the appropriate safeguards. OEI determined that the presence of documents containing personally identifiable information at the warehouse, when considered in light of the other conditions at the warehouse, warranted referring the matter to the EPA’s Breach Evaluation Team.

So the entire crate of passports that they shouldn’t have had in the first place - and which may have been expired (the pictured ones have punch holes in them, but still) - has been taken the the State Department shredder.

And all the propane tanks - propane tanks??? - that Apex brought in have been removed.

Actions Taken by the EPA on Saturday, May 18,2013, and Sunday, May 19,2013 EPA personnel worked at the warehouse with new contract employees during the weekend of May 1819, 2013 , to continue to evaluate and secure the site . The EPA initiated a health and safety review of the warehouse. The agency removed all propane tanks that had been brought onsite by Apex employees and secured those tanks outside of the building.

And what of Apex? What kind of punishment are they looking at for misusing government funds, fudging payrolls, breaching security, and leaving the place a grossed out mess? Oh, something SEVERE, that’s for sure! A short term Time Out. Maybe. Maybe not. That’s all.

The EPA also continued to take actions and evaluate possible actions with regard to Apex Logistics, the contractor at the facility. While the EPA’s stop-work order would prevent Apex from conducting additional work through the current end date of the contract of May 28, 2013, the agency began a legal analysis to determine whether the EPA could terminate the contract for cause before May 28, 2013. OARM ‘ s Office of Grant s and Debarment and Office of Acquisitions Management continued to work with OGC and OIG to determine whether suspension or debarment of Apex from future government
contracts can be supported by the facts available.

It’s not just that we can’t trust the government working for us. The government itself can’t trust the people working for them.

Where’s that Reset Button? I had it here the other day ...


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/05/2013 at 12:38 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and Greed •  
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