GSA seeks funding boost for DHS headquarters project

The General Services Administration requested its fiscal 2009 discretionary budget to more than double to cover the initial costs of constructing the new -- and controversial -- headquarters for the Homeland Security Department.

In its fiscal 2009 budget request, GSA asked for $481.6 million in discretionary funds, a 103 percent increase from $237.7 million it received for fiscal 2008. Most of the increase, with additional appropriations, will pay for the initial stages of constructing DHS' new 1.2 million-square-foot headquarters on the 176-acre West Campus site of the shuttered St. Elizabeths Hospital in southeast Washington.

GSA budgeted $347 million for fiscal 2009 to begin construction. The request is the first step in what GSA projects to be a $3 billion project. The project has been controversial, with numerous area organizations and think tanks opposing it. Congress has yet to approve the project.

The funds would flow through GSA's Federal Buildings Fund, whose coffers are mainly filled via rent collections from federal agencies that occupy GSA-maintained buildings. GSA requested $300 million to augment the $8.1 billion fiscal 2009 building fund. Collected funds pay for leasing and maintaining office space, said GSA Budget Director Micah Cheatham. GSA must ask for appropriations to fund additional construction projects, such as the DHS headquarters project.

Kathleen Turco, GSA's chief financial officer, said the DHS headquarters project is the Bush administration's highest building priority. DHS officials have pushed since last summer for DHS to consolidate management operations at St. Elizabeths, a former mental health institution. DHS has its management operations spread over about 40 locations and 70 buildings in the Washington metropolitan region. Congress rejected DHS' request for consolidation last year, but DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff told reporters at a briefing Monday that he was optimistic it would pass this year.

Turco called the GSA budget submission "very straightforward. The overall budget holds true to the administration's freeze on general spending." Turco said that the Office of Management and Budget was "generous to our budget."

The discretionary spending request also includes $172 million for GSA operations and $8.5 million for presidential transition efforts. That includes $5.3 million for staffing and training for members of the incoming administration, $2.2 million to provide Bush with accommodations, a pension, office space and basic staffing - such as, a GSA official said, "someone to run his library." The remaining $1 million will pay for agencies to provide training and workshops as part of the transition.

GSA also requested $54 million for its Office of the Inspector General, which is a separate request form the discretionary budget. Other priorities include $59 million for the renovation of the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego, Calif., the busiest land port of entry in the world;$78 million to consolidate the Food and Drug Administration's headquarters in Montgomery County, Md.; and $110 million for a federal courthouse in San Diego.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.