“Simply put, based on the public record to-date, ITMS acted with a mission scope that lacked authority and relevant training and such misconduct was made worse by the Commerce Department’s failure to perform adequate oversight. As a result, ITMS was able to operate without any accountability to the taxpayer,” Grassley wrote to Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The Commerce Department’s ITMS was originally established to enhance protection of the Secretary of Commerce and the department’s critical assets, including the Herbert Hoover building. This unit relied on the U.S. Marshals Service special deputation program for its authorities. Dozens of whistleblowers have alleged that the unit significantly and repeatedly overstepped those authorities, including by performing improper searches of employee storage areas and engaging in rogue counterintelligence operations without necessary legal authority or sufficient basis. The unit also allegedly misused classified resources to retaliate against whistleblowers who challenged its actions, and then over-classified records to impede public accountability.