"In a sharp break with tradition, U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has inserted a senior political appointee into the role of vetting competitive grant solicitations collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year, according to a memo obtained by E&E News.
The unsigned directive, released last week, orders agency employees to route the final drafts of all grant solicitations for review by John Konkus, the deputy associate administrator in EPA's Office of Public Affairs.
If Konkus 'has any concerns, comments, or questions on the solicitation, he will contact the POC [point of contact] listed in the email,' the memo continues.
If the Office of Public Affairs approves the solicitation, the relevant program office must attach a copy of any comments or revisions from Konkus to the 'work flow' section of EPA's grants management system. Konkus is also responsible for flagging any legal or competition concerns, the document indicates."