U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding today's report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), which found Agency employees accumulating over $1 million while taking paid leave - in some cases, for years.

"The EPA's major time and attendance issues and management failures are no longer surprising, just pathetic," said Vitter. "EPA claimed that John Beale's fraud was an anomaly, but EPA has allowed a number of employees to waste millions of taxpayer dollars in the last few years through lax internal controls and substandard management. Reforming their policy will be top of our agenda with the new conservative majority."

The report reveals that several EPA permitted 8 employees to collect full salaries for extended periods of administrative leave-to be used for short-term circumstances such as voting, funerals, or examinations-yet, in some cases for several months and even years, and that 8 EPA employees are responsible for accumulating over $1 million in pay while on administrative leave. These employees would have received automatic raises.

Vitter has been critical of management failures and fraud at the EPA, including time and attendance issues and unearned bonuses. Click here to read more. In March 2014, EPW Republicans published a report entitled, "EPA's Playbook Unveiled: A Story of Fraud, Deceit, and Secret Science," which details convicted con artist and former EPA senior official John Beale's role in major policy decisions at the Agency. Click here to read more.

Click here to read the OIG report, "Spending Taxpayer Dollars - Early Warning Report: Some EPA Employees Found to Be on Paid Administrative Leave for Years," which was in response to a request by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.