The Office of the Inspector General issued a troubling report regarding one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s largest warehouses, calling the conditions “deplorable” and pointing out various ways the workers were, likely, not working.
The report on the Landover, Maryland facility was issued on May 31, but is just now starting to gain traction in the national media.
From the Office of the Inspector General:
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, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos. The unauthorized personal spaces were arranged so that they were out of sight of security cameras through the use of screens, partitions and piled-up boxes. [Emphasis added]
The report included photos of the hidden areas, which have been labeled “man caves” in conservative media:
The workers also appear to have built their own little gym with surplus equipment in the warehouse:
That’s not to say, though, that the workers turned the warehouse into their own little haven. According to the office of the inspector general:
Deplorable conditions existed in the warehouse. Door jambs were corroded; dirt, dust and vermin feces were pervasive; and several items were rotting and potentially hazardous. We observed refrigerators with mold, and old computer bags molding and rotting.
The EPA uses the facility in Landover, Maryland to store inventory for its headquarters locations.
“The inventory ranges from sensitive items such as personally identifiable information, including passports, to computers and other electronic equipment to basic personal property such as paper and office furniture,” the report adds, noting that they found a box of unsecured passports.
The warehouse has been operated by a contractor since May 3, 2007, and the lease costs approximately $750,000 per year.
The EPA says it issued a stop-work order after being briefed on May 15, 2013, and the Office of the Inspector General says it is “encouraged” by the swift actions taken by the EPA.
(H/T: Government Executive)