The EPA has issued a work stop order for one of its contractors after an audit found a warehouse riddled with what are being termed “man caves,” secret rooms filled with entertainment systems, couches and exercise equipment.
Workers for Apex Logistics LLC apparently used room partitions, stacks of boxes, shelves and other methods to block the areas from the view of security cameras.
The warehouse is owned by the General Services Administration and is leased to the Environmental Protection Agency for about $750,000 per year.
Apex is supposed to be overseeing activities at the warehouse, which is used for “inventory storage.” Since 2007, Apex has been paid more than $5.3 million, according to the audit report.
Most of that money went to labor costs, but the discovery of the secret hideouts inside the warehouse “raise questions about time charges made by warehouse employees under the contract,” the report says.
According to the report, auditors found that “The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches. These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pinups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”
In addition, the audit uncovered an inadequate recordkeeping system, security risks including an open box of passports, and numerous health hazards such as vermin, mold and corrosion.
The acting administrator of the EPA, Bob Perciasepe, wrote in a letter that the EPA was taking “immediate, aggressive” actions and that it would audit other warehouses used by the agency to make sure the problems do not recur.
Perhaps I’m out of line here, but shouldn’t an agency that is charged with harassing people and businesses about their use of resources demonstrate more expertise at managing its own resources?
Not to mention the massive waste and fraud of taxpayer money being spent to rent a warehouse from another government agency for the purpose of storing “inventory” that inexplicably includes things like passports. Records on computer disks would be understandable, but $5 million for a rat-infested warehouse full of “stuff”? Just rent a public storage unit.
The EPA should clean up its own house before telling other people how to run theirs.