The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) inspector general declined a request by Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa to look into telework abuses in government agencies, according to a Thursday letter provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Ernst sent a letter to 24 agencies on Aug. 28 requesting that they review their telework policies to determine how taxpayer money was being spent, which Transportation Department Inspector General Eric J. Soskin declined to do, according to the letter. Ernst introduced the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act on Sept. 13 to address issues with telecommuting as part of a package of legislation to rein in the “administrative state.” (RELATED: ‘Bureaucrats Need A Reminder’: GOP Senator Introduces Legislation To Rein In ‘Administrative State’)
“Given the ongoing and planned changes DOT is implementing for its telework-eligible workforce, a full-scale review of its policies and practices would be premature at this time,” Soskin wrote. “However, we are forwarding your inquiry to the Department so that it may have an opportunity to provide any additional data, context, or information relevant to its ongoing or planned efforts in this area.”
“Sunshine is the best disinfectant, but Pete Buttigieg’s DOT is dragging its feet and refusing my request to expose government waste,” Ernst told the DCNF. “Every day they put this off is more dollars down the drain to fuel the D.C. swamp. Washington needs a reminder that they work for the American people – not the other way around.”
Ernst cited several cases in her letter, including a Veterans Affairs employee who attended a staff meeting while taking a bath and a case involving a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) employee who received $25,000 while spending over 730 hours at the golf course or happy hours.
Ernst also introduced the Strategic Withdrawal of Agencies for Meaningful Placement (SWAMP) Act, which will move the headquarters of government agencies outside of Washington, D.C., and the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, which calls for a commission that would seek to reduce the burden of federal regulations by 15%.
“It’s time for Biden’s bubble bath bureaucrats to get back to work, or forfeit their expensive, unused office space or D.C salary,” Ernst told the DCNF.
The DOT did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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