The Associated Press reports:
Records show the Interior Department spent nearly $139,000 last year for construction at the agency that was labeled on a work order as “Secretary’s Door.” A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke did not provide answers Thursday to questions about whether changes had been made to a door in the secretary’s office.
Records show the Maryland contractor that performed the work, Conquest Solutions LLC, has done several renovation projects at federal buildings. A man who answered the phone at the company Thursday hung up when a reporter asked about Zinke’s office.
According to records posted online, the project — described as “Secretary’s Door” — cost $138,670, and are to carried out by a Maryland company called Conquest Solutions. The company’s website says it specializes in building automation systems. According to government records, Conquest Solutions was the only company to bid for the job.
A spokeswoman for Zinke said that the cost of the doors was news to her, and the work was requested by career staffers as part of a building modernization effort. While she said the price sounded high, she said historic preservation requirements and new locks raised the cost
Zinke was unaware of the expense for the doors, Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said, saying the project was driven by “career facilities and security officials” as part of a decade-long modernization of the 1930s building.
“The secretary was not aware of this contract but agrees that this is a lot of money for demo, install, materials, and labor,” Swift said in a statement.
“Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical. This is a perfect example of why the secretary believes we need to reform procurement processes.”
What a waste. Just think how many dining sets you could have bought or private jets you could have chartered with that money. https://t.co/tUgg9BbcHi
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 8, 2018