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Secret Identities at the EPA?

Lawmakers are concerned that EPA senior personnel have been conducting official government business through clandestine means.

In what sounds like it could be an excerpt from a superhero script, members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee have sent letters to the Environmental Protection Agency and various agency Inspectors General questioning whether or not senior personnel have been conducting official government business through clandestine means such as using name aliases and private email accounts.

According to a statement from the House committee, recent reports claimed that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an alias email address under the name “Richard Windsor” to conduct official Government business.  This reported incident follows similarly alleged secretive methods of communication by senior officials at science agencies within the White House, Department of Commerce (DOC), and Department of Energy (DOE).

Federal law requires agencies to preserve all internal records associated with agency activities and prohibits the use of private email accounts for Government business, absent agency procedures to ensure tracking and storage of messages over such accounts. House committee members sent letters under concerns violations had taken place of the Federal Records Act, Freedom of Information Act, the Presidential Records Act, and other statutes designed to promote transparency.

The letters detailing the allegations were sent by Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vice Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Committee Members, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-GA), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD).

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.