Obama-Era EPA Employees Received Overtime Pay Without Justification

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

August 14, 2017
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) called for continued downsizing at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), following the August 9, 2017 release of a report on questionable overtime pay from the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The report revealed that EPA employees in the Pacific Northwest region were receiving emergency overtime pay without documentation or justification.  Employees received emergency overtime pay without proper authorization in 74 percent of instances reviewed by the OIG, a rampant abuse of the system and an unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars. 

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement: 

“As President Trump’s budget cuts at the EPA draw howls from critics, the agency continues to be revealed as a bloated bureaucracy in desperate need of downsizing.  The OIG findings are the latest in a long litany of abuses that show that the agency’s growth under former President Obama was harmful for taxpayers.  President Trump is right to reduce EPA’s footprint and Administrator Pruitt should continue his necessary efforts to reform EPA’s complacent and wasteful culture.”

Background:

  • The OIG found “numerous instances of noncompliance” and “lack of accountability” with the waiver process. 
  • The region responded to the report by stating that, “it does not deny responsibility for maintaining its own records.”
  • The average EPA employee annual salary is $113,820, up by 17 percent from $99,672 in 2008.
  • On January 7, 2016, the OIG reported that, “The EPA did not always comply with reporting requirements” that mandate reports must be filed for conferences that cost more than $100,000.
  • Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, officials found that pornography was viewed on EPA computers on four separate occasions.  In one instance, an EPA contractor “was ordered to pay $22,088 in restitution,” because the contractor, “installed special software to delete the web browsing history on the computer.”
  • A scathing June 16, 2016, OIG report found that the EPA has a “culture of complacency” and essentially nonexistent anti-waste efforts, stating, “Commitment is not demonstrated by a one-time memo and a new policy.”
  • An August 16, 2016 OIG report on taxpayersubsidized transit cards discovered at least $137,000 in “unnecessary payments” from the 31 percent of former employees who continued to receive benefits.
  • The Trump budget proposes a 31 percent cut to the EPA.

 

CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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