August 29, 2018

Cardin, Van Hollen and Whitehouse Call for EPW Hearings on Inspector General Report Showing GSA Misled Congress about the Cost of and President’s Involvement in FBI Headquarters Procurement

WASHINGTON – Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), are urging the committee’s chairman and ranking member to convene a hearing on the just-released report from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General’s office, Review of GSA’s Revised Plan for the Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters Consolidation Project. The IG report outlines how GSA and FBI officials misled Congress by hiding more than half a billion dollars of expenses related to demolishing and rebuilding the Hoover Building so they could make such a project look less expensive than a fully consolidated campus headquarters. The report also brought to the forefront more questions about the political interference in a major procurement by the President and senior White House staff.

The senators’ written request can be found at this link and below.

Dear Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper:

We have read with great concern the August 27, 2018 report issued by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General’s office titled Review of GSA’s Revised Plan for the Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters Consolidation Project.

The report documents the Inspector General’s findings that GSA misrepresented to Congress which Administration officials were involved in the decision to change the preferred location of the FBI’s new headquarters from a suburban campus setting to a rebuild on the current site of the J. Edgar Hoover (JEH) building.  The report also clarifies that despite attempts by GSA officials to hide the actual costs, the JEH demolish and rebuild plan would actually cost more that the cancelled JEH exchange.  The report also illustrated that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy’s testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on April 17, 2018 was incomplete and may have left the misleading impression that she had no discussions with the President or senior White House officials in the decision-making process about the project.

We believe that the facts and actions described in this report should be thoroughly examined by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and we request that you hold a hearing on this report as soon as possible. We thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

 

Ben Cardin

United States Senator

 

Chris Van Hollen

United States Senator

 

Sheldon Whitehouse

United States Senator

 

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