Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Mica says agencies 'thwarting' proposed FTC relocation
Tuesday - 12/3/2013, 5:10pm EST
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Oversight's Subcommittee on Government Operations, vowed Tuesday to block the General Services Administration from moving the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities out of the Old Post Office Building and into new leased space in Southwest Washington, D.C.
But Mica's ire has little to do with either the NEH or the NEA or GSA's plans to redevelop the Old Post Office with an assist from Donald Trump.
At issue is a years-long effort by Mica to relocate the Federal Trade Commission out of the historic "Apex" building on Pennsylvania Avenue and into privately leased space in a building known as the Constitution Center at 400 7th St. SW. The regulatory agency's departure would make room for an expansion of the National Gallery of Art, per Mica's proposal.
FTC is currently consolidating two satellite offices into the Constitution Center. But both the FTC and GSA say there isn't enough space in the building — especially not with the addition of NEA and NEH — to also shift FTC headquarters there.
Aside from space considerations, the proposed move isn't feasible financially, FTC Executive Director David Robbins testified before the subcommittee Tuesday.
"Even if all the FTC's D.C. operations could be fit in (the building's remaining space), the costs to the American taxpayers would be prohibitive," he said.
As Mica sees it, however, the FTC and GSA are simply "thwarting" the move.
GSA: NEH and NEA need to be moved out of Old Post Office
GSA has been looking to fill space at Constitution Center since 2011, after the Securities and Exchange Commission closed on a deal to lease space there but ended up not needing as much space as initially thought. GSA took on the authority to fill the building's remaining vacancies in 2011.
Chris Wisner, GSA's assistant commissioner in the Public Buildings Service's Office of Leasing, said GSA first began looking at moving NEH and NEA into space at Constitution Center in July 2012, a few months after GSA selected the Trump Organization to develop the Old Post Office Building, which currently houses the two small agencies, into a hotel.
The NEH-NEA move into Constitution Center is about 35 percent complete and on track to be completed by March, Wisner said. At that time, both agencies need to be out of the Old Post Office Building or GSA will incur penalties of about $1 million a month, under the terms of the Trump deal
Mica, however, questioned why GSA decided to move NEH and NEA into Constitution Center and wondered whether it wasn't to deliberately to "thwart" his proposed FTC move.
He said he planned to find some way to block the two agencies' move into the center, including by legislation appended to an appropriations bill.
"I'm going to look at every avenue," he told Federal News Radio in a brief interview after Tuesday's hearing.
Mica said he also wants GSA to provide a list of other alternative available spaces in the Washington region, both federally owned and leased, that the two small agencies could be relocated to, instead of the Constitution Center.
FTC: Mica proposal not feasible
Mica's proposal to move the FTC headquarters has a long, fraught history.
His renewed effort to move the agency out of its historic headquarters comes as the FTC is already moving a handful of its offices out of two privately leased spaces — one at New Jersey Avenue and the other at M Street — to the Constitution Center.
The new space will host 905 employees and contractors at about 119 square feet per employee, a reduction from current utilization rates of 167 square feet per employee, FTC testified.
But the agency draws the line at moving headquarters.
For one thing, GSA has determined that the FTC needs a minimum of about 446,000 square feet for its entire space needs in the D.C. region, according to Wisner's testimony
The Constitution Center simply can't supply that, both GSA and FTC maintain.
Even without the NEH and NEA moving in, there's only about 350,000 square feet of available space, Wisner said.
Mica disputed those estimates.
"That's bull," he said. "This is an abuse of taxpayer money unlike anything I've ever seen."
Mica contended that there would be enough space for all FTC employees to fit in the building at a space-utilization rate of at least 119 square feet per employee.