EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s $43,000 phone booth violated spending laws

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy along with also also Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy along with also also Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The Environmental Protection Agency violated federal laws by installing a $43,000 soundproof phone booth inside the office of agency chief Scott Pruitt, a government watchdog said Monday.

The announcement by the Government Accountability Office comes as Pruitt will be under fire for his use of taxpayer funds, renting an apartment tied to an energy lobbyist along with also also allegedly retaliating against EPA staff for questioning his decisions.

The equipment in question, a secure communications booth which cost $43,238.68, was first reported last year along with also also became an early symbol of EPA’s high spending under Pruitt.

The GAO right now said the purchase violated the Financial Services along with also also General Government Appropriations Act, which prohibits spending more than $5,000 to furnish or redecorate the office of a presidential appointee without approval by congressional appropriations committees.

“EPA was required to notify the appropriations committees of its proposed obligation. By failing to provide such advance notice, EPA violated section 710” of the law, Thomas H. Armstrong, the GAO’s general counsel wrote in a letter to lawmakers who requested the investigation.

The GAO also found the EPA violated the Antideficiency Act because which committed the funds “in a manner specifically prohibited by law.”

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