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House Panel Launches Inquiry Into EPA’s Contractor Oversight

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked the Environmental Protection Agency whether it uses internal controls to oversee its contractor workforce.

The committee wrote in a Tuesday letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that reports by the Government Accountability Office and the EPA’s inspector general office cited gaps in the agency’s management of accountability over contractors, such as overbilling issues and lack of awareness on the number of contractors with “significant” data security responsibilities.

Pruitt stepped down from his post on Thursday and was succeeded by deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler on an acting capacity.

The panel called on EPA to submit documents that offer information on the total amount of funds the agency obligated for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 contracts and the number of roles currently held by contractors at the agency.

EPA should offer information on policies that deal with contractor oversight, management and engagement and state the number of contract positions that demand a security clearance.

The agency has until July 17 to respond to the committee’s request.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) co-wrote the letter with Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

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