Another pricey remodeling decision bids for attention in the Trump administration, after the revelation that the Interior Department is replacing three sets of doors at its historic headquarters for nearly $139,000. —
Other decorating choices that sparked criticism included $31,000 for dining-room furniture at the Department of Housing and Urban Developing and a $25,000 for a sound-proof booth at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was unaware of the contact before reporters started asking about it, according to his spokeswoman, Heather Swift.
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The work is part of a decade-long modernization of the 1936 building that began before Zinke took office in March 2017.
The three sets of double doors needed repairs because the previous doors let in wind and water that damaged hardwood floors, an official told CNN. The doors are all part of the secretary's office, with two opening onto a corner balcony with a view of the National Mall and the third to a hallway featuring portraits of previous secretaries, an Interior official told the Associated Press.
The $138,670 contract is for demolition, installation, materials for the fiberglass doors and labor. The contract was approved last month, with work expected during the summer.
"Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical," Swift said in a statement to the AP. "This is a perfect example of why the secretary believes we need to reform procurement processes."
Last month, HUD secretary Ben Carson withdrew an order for pricey dining room furniture after the price was revealed.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt spent $25,000 on a soundproof "privacy booth" inside his office to prevent eavesdropping on his phone calls.