EPA’s Office of Inspector General says the agency failed to properly justify the level of security used to protect former Administrator Scott Pruitt, allowing costs to increase 110 percent over an 11-month period. According to the report, EPA’s Protective Service Detail “has no final, approved standard operating procedures that address the level of protection required for the administrator or how those services are to be provided.” As such, the lack of such standards “can result in the organization having unclear lines of authority, inconsistent practices, inappropriate or inadequate staffing, and excessive or unnecessary costs.” Beginning Feb. 1, 2017, and continuing through the rest of the year, OIG reports the PSD incurred over $3.5 million in costs (the prior period’s costs amounted to $1.6 million), an increase that was experienced “without documented justification.” The size of Pruitt’s security detail was a frequent source of scrutiny for the former administrator, who claimed that threats against his safety justified increased protection. The report also found improprieties dating back to January 2016, before Pruitt took office, resulting in $106,507 in improper overtime payments.

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