Where do federal workers and contractors go when they want to get away from it all while still on the job?
How about a myriad of secret man caves?
An internal audit by the Environmental Protection Agency has discovered a warehouse maintained by contractors for the EPA contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches.
According to GovernmentExecutive, “EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse – used for inventory storage – is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.”
“The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches,” the IG report said. “These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”
A stop-work order has now been issued to Apex Logistics LLC, the responsible contractor, to prelude the company’s workers from having access to the location.
Apex Logistics has been paid some $5.3 million since May 2007 when the contract was awarded.
EPA has reportedly committed to undergoing an agency-wide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.
GovernmentExecutive says in addition to the secret rooms, the IG found an incomplete and inaccurate system of keeping records; numerous potential security and safety hazards, including an open box of passports; and “deplorable conditions” such as corrosion, vermin feces and “pervasive” mold.
EPA acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe wrote the inspector general claiming the agency has taken “immediate, aggressive actions” in response to the discovery.
“The EPA is committed to addressing the previous conditions at the warehouse and implementing institutional protections to ensure those conditions do not recur at this facility or any other used by the agency,” Perciasepe wrote.