by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Environmental Protection Agency is still blocking its inspector general from investigating wrongdoing at the agency, according to the government watchdog’s semi-annual report to Congress.
More than a year after coming under scrutiny for stonewalling an investigation into a senior official accused of sexually harassing over a dozen women, the EPA is still not being cooperative with the inspector general.
“In the previous Semiannual Report to Congress, we reported theoretical progress with regard to the longstanding denial of access for the [Office of Inspector General] OIG by the EPA’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS) to information sought by the OIG,” the report said. “After considerable delay, OHS provided some documents to the OIG but continued to deny access to others.” …
… The EPA said the agency will continue to not share information with the inspector general of its investigations into its employees, who have been caught watching porn at work for up to six hours a day, and spreading feces in hallways.
“However, once again, when it came to implementation, OHS has asserted that it will not inform OIG of cases unless OHS determines the matter is within OIG jurisdiction,” the inspector general said. “Under the Inspector General Act, the OIG is to have access to all information ‘available to’ the agency. Only the OIG—not some agency component—can determine whether it will pursue or forego further investigation of a matter.”
“OHS continues to impede the OIG’s carrying out its statutory responsibilities,” it said.