The president might call it “reorganization.” Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin might call it “modernization.” But the general principles are the same.
GSA’s Dan Mathews pledged during his Aug. 3 swearing in ceremony to meet federal real estate needs with taxpayers’ best interests in mind.
The $1.6 billion project was cancelled in mid-July, but officials say they are committed to coming up with a plan for FBI’s headquarters by the end of 2017.
The House passed a last-minute bill Friday morning that will replenish the Veterans Choice Program with $2.1 billion in additional funds for the next six months. The additional Choice funds are crucial, as they buy lawmakers and the Veterans Affairs Department more time to redesign the program. But the legislation is also packed with new hiring flexibilities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While much of the recent attention has fallen on the president’s proposed budget, Congress has still been introducing and passing legislation. Here are a few bills worth knowing about that might have slipped through the cracks.
House Appropriations Subcommittee members asked Tim Horne, the acting administrator of the General Services Administration, to better explain the agency’s 2018 budget request, particularly for the FBI headquarters and disposal of underutilized federal property.
VA’s facilities planning processes leave it with millions of square feet of empty and decaying space.
Norm Dong, who spent three years as the commissioner of Public Buildings Service at GSA before leaving last month, said through a portfolio management process the agency is looking at federal real property assets and deciding which need to be maintained and which need to be disposed of.