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Delays Drive Up Costs for DHS Consolidation Project

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The costs of the Department of Homeland Security consolidation project has increased by at least half a billion dollars due to delays caused by budget cuts, according to a Federal Times report.

The delays have also caused the relocation of more than 10,000 federal employees by up to five years.

The original plan consisted of $3.45 million for the consolidation of DHS headquarters to the former location of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, with projected completion taking place in 2016. Due to the delays, the project will now cost $3.96 million and won’t be completed until 2021.

In fiscal 2011, about $668 million was requested by the General Services Administration and DHS, but only received 12 percent of its request. For 2012, the agencies requested $376 million and has heavily relied on the $200 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said he chose to vote for funding other operations over the consolidation project.

“Moving forward, re-evaluating funding for the project is certainly not off the table, but uncertainty about cost constraints and a growing price tag are of great concern and need to be carefully considered before providing any additional funding for St. Elizabeths,” Aderholt said according to the Federal Times report.

If Congress does not vote to fund the project for fiscal 2012, more delays would take place as a result and not in just the consolidation project, according to the report. It would cause a domino effect in delays of other DHS components including Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service.

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