Tags: scott perry | costly | SUV | leases | DHS | waste

Rep. Scott Perry: Costly SUV Leases Illustrate DHS 'Culture of Waste'

Image: Rep. Scott Perry: Costly SUV Leases Illustrate DHS 'Culture of Waste'
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club on April 22, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 04 Dec 2015 10:11 AM

A watchdog report says the Department of Homeland Security has wasted millions of taxpayers' money on an expensive SUV fleet — a finding that proves a "reprehensible … culture of waste," Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry says.

At a hearing by Perry's Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcomittee on Thursday, the lawmaker laid into the agency after an Office of Inspector General John Roth's report showed a fleet of 1,169 vehicles for the Federal Protective Service, which is part of DHS, had grown by 101 vehicles and cost the agency $10.7 million to lease last year.

Roth concluded DHS could have saved more than $2.5 million last year by being more cost-effective.

FPS provides security and law enforcement services to more than 9,500 federal facilities in Washington and nationwide, The Washington Post notes.

"The management failures outlined in the IG's report demonstrate a culture of waste by DHS regarding taxpayer money," Perry said at the hearing, Homeland Security Today reports.

"That is reprehensible and unacceptable. Since the IG only reviewed one year of data, it's safe to say FPS wasted millions more in previous years; maybe even tens of millions. Putting a new policy in place doesn't cut it."
 
At the hearing, FPS director L. Eric Patterson had argued the fleet is sorely needed.

"Our folks are on the road a lot. Vehicles break down," he said, Homeland Security Today reports. "We must have vehicles as a backup if in fact vehicles break down."

But Perry was unforgiving.

"I find no way to justify what you have laid out for me," he said, the Post reports. "I'm assuming you guys have lived in the real world. I drive my car to work. My wife drives her car to work. Most people, they take transportation, they handle their own transportation. They don't get a vehicle provided to them."

Thomas Chaleki, a senior official in DHS's management directorate, said the protective service doesn't allow personal use of vehicles and has "stringent rules" governing who gets a "home to work" one.

"Sir, how stringent can it be when every officer has a vehicle?" Perry shot back.

Perry ended the hearing with a not-so-veiled warning, the Post reports.

"We don't want to be overly harsh here, but understand, we are the stewards of the taxpayers' money," he said. "We don't want to tell you how to do your  business. We don't want to have this meeting again, but if this continues, if Mr. Roth brings this report to us again next year and it's not substantially different, we're going to do the same dance.

"And there's probably going to be legislation that gets in your business. And it's going to be bad for all Americans."

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A watchdog report says the Department of Homeland Security has wasted millions of taxpayers' money on an expensive SUV fleet - a finding that proves a "reprehensible...culture of waste," Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry says.
scott perry, costly, SUV, leases, DHS, waste
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2015-11-04
Friday, 04 Dec 2015 10:11 AM
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