The EPA Failed Again

Quite apart from the pseudo-science that the Environmental Protection Agency’s previous Administrator, Gina McCarthy, so cynically used to rationalize her agency’s rules, and the frequent eschewing of the cost effectiveness analysis that’s supposed to underwrite or block Agency rules, the Obama administration personnel in management positions in that facility have routinely and for the duration ignored basic security rules and practices.  According to the EPA’s Inspector General,

Hundreds of contractors holding important information security jobs at the US Environmental Protection Agency have for years been working as high-level operators of its computer systems without the appropriate security background checks—a situation the agency is still scrambling to correct.

During all that time, the agency apparently did not even have a complete list of all the “high-risk” positions where detailed background investigations of outside contractors were required.

Among the IG’s findings:

As recently as last February,

nearly 70% of 484 contractors carrying a special, embedded-chip card allowing “elevated access” to EPA computer systems for their work still had not gotten their higher-level background checks.

In one sample,

five of nine contractor personnel were given sensitive access to EPA computer systems without strict background checks, even though they had worked for the EPA “for over five years.”


  • “a lack of oversight by responsible offices” within EPA to confirm that background investigations were initiated and eventually completed when contractors got the supposedly temporary right to special access cards
  • conflicting totals among various EPA offices about how many working contractors would require high-level background checks
  • a “breakdown in communication” among various EPA computer system managers and oversight personnel over verification of the checks
  • a refusal on the part of one EPA bureau to provide a listing of personnel who did not even have the special computer access cards but nonetheless still had privileged access to EPA computers.

Note to the IG: offices don’t do anything; the personnel manning those offices do things.  Name names.

Regarding that fourth bullet, it’s a mystery to me why the management personnel running that bureau, blatantly insubordinate as they are, haven’t been fired for cause.

Come to that, the management personnel in those other bullets also should have been fired long ago for their failure to perform, whether deliberate or not.

It’s also a mystery to me why those without the required background checks or clearances haven’t had their accesses canceled.

This is one more reason to abolish the EPA altogether.

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