New GSA Plan: No New HQ Site for FBI
The General Services Administration (GSA) has released a controversial proposal for a new FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The overdue report’s release was timed to correspond with the high-profile unveiling of President Trump’s FY2019 budget proposal.
The release is the latest development in a long-running search for an upgraded facility for the FBI, with the existing headquarters reportedly undersized and significantly outdated, having remained largely unchanged for 42 years. In July of 2017, GSA announced that it was scrapping the search for a new building, having spent years vetting candidate locations and narrowing the list down to three finalists.
Because the proposed new construction will not have the capacity expected of a new headquarters under the original, aborted plan, GSA’s new proposal calls for the staff inside the current headquarters to be relocated while the current building is demolished and a new headquarters is erected in its place. During the construction, which would be completed by 2025, under current estimates, FBI staff would be spread across multiple locations.
According to Government Executive, “Instead of consolidating 11,000 FBI employees in a new headquarters, 2,300 would move to field offices around the country, leaving only 8,300 in the Washington area” with many employees necessarily being relocated outside the city to the agency’s training facility in Quantico, Virginia.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, called the process “an immense waste of time and resources,” and called for “an apology to Virginia and Maryland for time spent developing the site proposals. An apology to the FBI employees who will continue to work in the crumbling Hoover building. And an apology to taxpayers for a procurement so bungled so that we are at square one more than five years after GSA started this process.”
GSA said the cost of further delaying the process is $87 million annually.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee stated that a hearing on the process is scheduled for Feb. 28.
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