Lax Oversight Cited At Bannister Federal Complex
Kansas City, MO – A new audit has found the General Services Administration [GSA] failed to manage health and environmental concerns at the bannister federal complex.
GSA has field offices and a daycare there. The facility also houses a manufacturing plant for nuclear bomb parts. Some of those plant workers have gotten cancer from previously being exposed to contaminants like beryllium.
GSA held a meeting with its employees immediately following the release of yesterday's audit.
Vonda Randle, a longtime employee, had one question for GSA's regional administrator, Jason Klumb.
"I've been here 25 years, right here at GSA, so I would like to know if I've been contaminated," asked Randle.
"I think everybody wants to know the answer to that question," Klumb began in response.
He went on to say he wants to see improvements in GSA's management of the situation.
"Previous efforts in environmental management were lacking - We will fix those. Incorrect and misleading information, inadequate filed documentation, and possible non compliance with reporting requirements damaged GSA's credibility - we will repair that. We will repair that," said Klumb.
Following the meeting, Randle said she's not sure what to think.
The inspector general's audit found no indication of any current health risks at the banister facility. But it found major problems in how environmental and health issues were dealt with in the past.
In fact, the report stated officials at GSA didn't maintain basic knowledge of the conditions there or take action following complaints.
In February, Senator Kit Bond called for the report with other area reps after receiving complaints from employees.
The new report says with current evidence lacking, it's "prudent" for federal health agencies to further study the possible long term health exposures at GSA's side of the complex.
This spring, GSA reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up its facility and further investigate potential health issues. Those investigations began in April and are still ongoing.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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