The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $24,570 to build a “privacy booth” for the agency’s chief, Scott Pruitt, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The Washington Post reported, citing a contract the agency signed with Acoustical Solutions, LLC, that the EPA agreed to pay nearly $25,000 for a “privacy booth for the administrator,” scheduled to be completed Oct. 9, 2017.
According to Acoustical Solutions’ website, the company manufactures and distributes “acoustical products” that can be used for “office/conference room privacy, reduction in mechanical and equipment noise, secure rooms (SKIF) environments, scientific testing rooms, gun ranges and many other environments.”
The EPA, according to the Washington Post, requested a soundproof booth that cost considerably more than a standard model.
Steve Snider, a sales consultant with Acoustical Solutions, told the Washington Post that the EPA “had a lot of modifications” in its request.
“Their main goal was they wanted essentially a secure phone booth that couldn’t be breached from a data point of view or from someone standing outside eavesdropping,” he said.
An EPA spokeswoman told the Washington Post that the booth would be a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, and said it was “something which a number, if not all, Cabinet offices have and EPA needs to have updated.”
The Washington Post reported, however, citing unnamed EPA employees, that the agency already has such a facility, but that the agency did not specify what about it was due for an update.
Pruitt reportedly already has a round-the-clock security detail of unprecedented size, according to the Washington Post, which reported on Wednesday that Pruitt has 18 people on his security detail, though he has pushed for a 31 percent funding cut across the EPA.