The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted unanimously Thursday for a resolution to have the General Services Administration, landlord of the federal government, move the FBI away from the J. Edgar Hoover Building to a new site in greater Washington.
“The sheer overcrowding at the J. Edgar Hoover Building and the lack of physical and information security there and at 20 overflow offices scattered throughout the area at best complicates the FBI’s important work and at worst severely compromises national security,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), according to Government Executive.
The Government Accountability Office released a report last month saying the Hoover building, which houses 17,300 employees is “nearing its life-cycle age and exhibiting signs of deterioration.” The report also noted that fiscal year 2014 is the earliest time frame the plan would be put into congressional consideration.
If the plan does go forth, it would require a private sector firm with building a 2.1 million square foot facility. Cardin said the land the new building would occupy, would be leased to the FBI, with ownership going to the federal government at the end of its lease at “no additional cost.”
The building would have to meet post-9/11 security standards, where FBI tenants can perform sensitive operations near non-bureau tenants. Paul Bresson, FBI spokesman, told Government Executive the FBI supports the idea of a consolidated headquarters facility, which he says is urgently needed and of a top priority for the agency.