On August 22, 2012, the U.S. EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the results of its examination of costs claimed by the publication Bay Journal in contracts with the EPA between August 2005 and July 2010. During that period, EPA had contracts with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc., Bay Journal’s publisher at the time, to promote public education about restoration of the Bay. (Bay Journal is now published by Chesapeake Media Service, Inc.) The OIG report asserts that the Alliance did not adequately document that costs it claimed under the contract were “fair and reasonable,” and the report recommends that the EPA Region 3 Administrator (Region 3, headquartered in Philadelphia, includes Pennsylvania, where Bay Journal is published) “disallow questioned project costs of $1,357,035 and recover $1,189,864 of federal funds paid under the cooperative agreements” (according to the report’s “At a Glance” summary). According to a Sep. 14 Washington Guardian article on the report, Bay Journal disputes the findings of the OIG report and notes that there is no assertion in the report Bay Journal failed to produce the contracted work.
Sources: Full OIG report, “Examination of Costs Claimed Under EPA Cooperative Agreements CB-97324701 Through CB-97324705 Awarded to Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc.” (Report No. 12-4-0720), available online at http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/reportsByTopic/ChesapeakeBay_Reports.html (as of 9/18/12);
Investigation questions EPA money spent to fund newspaper, Washington Guardian, 9/14/12.