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Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s office notified Congress he spent just under $10,000 to refurbish his and his deputy’s office, according to letters sent to lawmakers Friday evening, which by The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained.
Perry spent $4,652 reupholstering furniture and painting his office, while Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette spent $4,993 doing much of the same to his office. The Energy Department’s (DOE) general counsel sent the letters to Congress out of an abundance of caution.
The article goes on to state the following:
The Environmental Protection Agency violated federal law by building a $43,000 secure phone booth, or SCIF, and not notifying Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled on April 16. Effectively, GAO redefined a SCIF as office furnishings and improvements, expanding its previous interpretation of federal laws.
GAO “expanded the scope of this provision to apply to virtually any expense associated with a Presidential appointee’s office space,” to include even SCIFs — not exactly office furniture, the general counsel wrote. Before April, federal officials didn’t consider spending on, say, security requirements, like SCIFs, to require congressional notification.
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) is a U.S. Department of Defense term for a secure room. It can be a secure room or data center that guards against electronic surveillance and suppresses data leakage of sensitive security and military information.
Since the Government Accountability Office has changed the definition of expenses that need to be reported, Perry provided a stunning list of expenses under the Obama administration, the Daily Caller reported.
However expensive Energy Department renovations under Perry may seem, Obama’s administration spent much more in the eight years it controlled the executive branch. Perry gave a short list of examples of Obama Energy Department projects.
A sampling of Obama administration Energy Department renovations to the Forrestal building comes out to more than $10.3 million.
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