Chris Lu, former deputy secretary for Labor, says the department also had its search for new headquarters canceled. And Dan Tangherlini, former General Services Administration administrator, said a discussion about federal capital investments needs to be had.
Just a few years ago, Arlington National Cemetery was mired in a management scandal of misspent funds, poorly documented graves and lack of maintenance. A short time later, with the Army having taken control, the cemetery received glowing reports from the inspector general. Today, the cemetery is about to undertake a major expansion and superintendent Kate Kelley joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss the possible changes.
The Veterans Affairs Department spends too much money on bricks and mortar and not enough on its own doctors and nurses, former VA Secretary Anthony Principi told Congress. Some lawmakers are once again calling for a full review of VA capital assets, which span encompass more than 6,000 owned buildings and 1,500 leased facilities and span more than 170 million square feet.
The Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives is the service’s central hub for managing the financing and planning for “utility scale” renewable and alternative energy projects. Michael McGhee, OEI’s executive director, talks with Jared Serbu about some of the major projects in the pipeline, and the Army’s desire to use the power they generate to make its bases energy-independent.
Officials in two states and the District of Columbia are scratching their heads over how the new FBI headquarters project, after 10 years of planning, could fall through. But construction officials at the General Services Administration felt they had no other choice once Congress failed to come through with enough money to proceed. Former GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss the long-term implications.
Over the past five years, the Army has been busily building renewable power facilities on its bases in order to reach an overall goal of 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025. But now, the Army is putting more of an emphasis on using that energy to make its bases entirely self-sufficient from the public electric grid, so they can continue to function in the event of an outage. Michael McGhee, executive director of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, talked with Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu on Federal Drive with Tom Temin about the technologies the Army’s pursuing to make that a reality.
The FBI joins a growing list of agencies that thought they were going to escape crumbling, obsolete buildings. A deal to trade its downtown headquarters to a developer and move to Maryland or Virginia is dead for now. Chris Lu knows what that feels like. As former deputy secretary of Labor, he was involved in a potential swap of the aging Perkins Building that also fell through. He shares his insight on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
After the collapse of the FBI headquarters project, will some sort of sanity or regulation ever come to federal construction?
The government abandoned its current plan to replace the FBI’s Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters, leaving employees in the deteriorating J. Edgar Hoover Building for the foreseeable future.
The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee stayed quiet on federal pay in its 2018 bill. Without action from Congress, federal civilian employees would receive a 1.9 percent raise next fiscal year. The appropriations bill also includes significant spending cuts to key priorities at the General Services Administration and Office of Personnel Management.
The Veterans Affairs Department will immediately get rid of 71 vacant or nearly empty facilities. VA will eliminate another 71 buildings within the next six months. It’s part of the department’s long term effort to trim its inventory of outdated, underutilized or vacant buildings within the next two years.
More than 30 think tank experts are calling for military base closures. The Defense Department says it is operating with a 22 percent excess of infrastructure.
The Defense Department is giving Congress its suggestions for the 2018 defense authorization bill. The proposal gives service members a 2.1 percent pay raise.
Military facility sustainment has been one of the hardest-hit portions of the Defense budget over the last several years. Still, installations do find new ways to meet their missions without more money.
The Defense Department is looking to conduct another round of Base Realignment and Closure in 2021, but as usual, lawmakers are jumpy about losing military bases in their districts.