Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Missing Emails

At the EPA this time. I'm shocked, shocked:
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

The revelation came less than two weeks after IRS officials told Congress that Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups, also suffered from a hard drive crash that makes it difficult to comply with records requests.
What did government employees blame before they had hard drives to crash?

From a tangentially related post at Aces's
This is over suspicions that the EPA was not exactly fair in their approach to the Pebble Mine environmental impact study; that some of their staff, one Phillip North, had decided to shit can it from the get go.
The committee suspects that Phillip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska, decided with his colleagues to veto the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay in 2009, before the agency even began researching its potential impacts on the environment. Committee staffers have been trying for about a year to interview North, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate, they said.

“We have tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.

Emails provided by the committee show that EPA told congressional investigators about the hard drive crash months ago. But McCarthy said she only told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the problem Tuesday.
This is not the first time the EPA has had email issues. In the past, I have also detailed how former EPA czar (or should that be Commissar) Lisa Jackson and other EPA officials had a second email account under the name Richard Winston, to conduct EPA business.  Was it used to conduct business that they didn't want FOIAd?  Almost certainly

And reaching back to 2001, at the end of the (first?) Clinton administration:
In the midst of all the sound and fury surrounding the case of My Dog At my E-mails at the IRS, Sharyl Attkisson has dug up a little noted piece of government history which reminds us that federal agencies have plenty of experience in playing fast and loose with the rules. More than a decade ago, the EPA was found to have pulled a similar stunt, but they were far less oblique about it when caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
According to an Associated Press report, a federal judge has held the EPA in contempt for destroying computer files sought after by a conservative group: Landmark Legal Foundation…
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had ordered the EPA on Jan. 19, 2001, at the end of the Clinton administration, to preserve all documents relevant to a Freedom of Information Act request by Landmark regarding the federal agency’s contact with outside groups. That same day, EPA Administrator Carol Browner asked a technician to delete her computer files. Browner later testified that she was unaware of the court order and simply wanted to remove some games from her work computer.
According to AP, EPA officials later admitted wiping clean the computer files from Browner and other top staff despite Lamberth’s order.
You can find the original AP report from 2003 here. The details of the story are beyond simply suspicious and quite reminiscent of the current escapades at the IRS. The judge’s initial order was issued on January 19, 2001, the day before the end of the Clinton administration. The EPA was ordered to preserve “all documents that might be relevant to a Freedom of Information Act” which had been filed by Landmark.
If you keep letting them get away with it, they'll keep doing it.

But there is some evidence that folk are finding the EPA a shitty place to work: EPA Directive to EPA Employees: Serious You Guys, Stop Pooping on the Floor
Animal House. It appears... that a regional [EPA] office has reached a new low:
Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.
In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned "several incidents" in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and "an individual placing feces in the hallway" outside the restroom.
"Placing" them. Like he was moving around Hummel figurines to find the best positioning.

I would have said "depositing" them. It's classier.
You must be shittin' me...

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