WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), ranking member of the EPW committee, sent a letter to General Services Administration (GSA) Public Building Service Commissioner Dan Mathews regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters.
On August 2, 2017, the EPW Committee held an oversight hearing titled “FBI Headquarters Consolidation Project – What Happened and What’s Next.” The hearing examined why the GSA cancelled the FBI headquarters project in July 2017. This cancellation followed 12 years of the GSA requesting a new FBI headquarters due to the current headquarters building being insufficient.
At the hearing, leadership of the GSA and the FBI committed to return to Congress within 120 days with a plan for the FBI headquarters. The hearing featured testimony from Michael Gelber, then-acting commissioner of the Public Building Service at the GSA; and Richard Haley, assistant director and chief financial officer of the Finance Division at the FBI. Leadership of the GSA and the FBI subsequently requested an additional 60 days to prepare a plan for the committee.
In today’s letter, the senators emphasized the importance of the committee receiving a thorough plan from the GSA. “The deadline for this report is November 30, but the Committee, at your request, is willing to consider extending the deadline by 60 days to ensure that you have sufficient time to consider different financing options for the project,” write the senators. The senators request that the plan be submitted to the EPW Committee by January 29, 2018.
In the letter, the senators also outline several specifics they want in the plan, including:
- Need and feasibility;
- Space utilization;
- Facility and parking requirements;
- Location and site considerations;
- A description and explanation of each acquisition strategy, with detailed benefits and disadvantages for each, including but not limited to:
- an operating lease;
- federal new construction with federal appropriations;
- lease construction with a purchase option;
- lease construction with eventual federal ownership;
- a hybrid of federal construction and lease construction, etc.;
- An analysis of legal authorities and funding needed to implement each financing and development option with a recommendation of a specific strategy;
- A plan for the implementation of the recommended financing and development strategy; and
- An analysis of how the work that has been done to date—including site selection and environmental impact—can be used to reduce the cost of the project.
Read the full letter here.