Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), announced today that General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General Carol Ochoa will review the recent decision to leave the FBI headquarters in downtown D.C., abandoning years of searching for a new location in the Washington area.
Among the leading contenders was a Springfield-Franconia site in Northern Virginia, situated near a Metro station and major freeway interchanges. Local political figures surprised and irked by the unexpected decision.
“I am pleased Inspector General Ochoa has launched a review of the GSA’s FBI headquarters decision. It was deeply troubling that at our Oversight and Government Committee hearing GSA leaders were unable or unwilling to answer very basic questions about the abrupt change in scope, security requirements, and costs of this project. The public deserves answers, and I am hopeful the Inspector General will get to the bottom of this,” said Connolly, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Government Operations subcommittee,
In a letter to Connolly, Inspector General Ochoa wrote, “My office will review GSA’s decision making process for the revised FBI Headquarters Consolidation project. The scope of our review will include whether the revised plan properly accounts for the full costs and security requirements of the project.”
On February 28, 2018, Connolly requested the IG investigation and asked the IG to address the following questions:
(1) What information did GSA analyze when making its decision? Did it include detailed considerations of short-term and long-term costs, security, timeliness and the benefits of co-location of staff?
(2) Did GSA compare these and other factors adequately to other locations that had been under consideration?
(3) To what extent were communications from outside sources considered, including not limited to the FBI, the Department of Justice, GAO, the White House, the Office of Management and Budget, state or local officials, or private sector entities?
(4) Does the current GSA proposal properly account for the full costs of the project, including rental payments and other expenses?”