Unlike many proposals in President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget, the General Services Administration’s requests include many long-term funding streams for concrete projects that will outlast the current administration, among them new headquarters for the FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In addition, GSA hopes to continue its recent push for property renovation projects around the country intended to catalyze local economies.
The budget request also outlines “smart and strategic investments in infrastructure and modernizing government information technology systems,” GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth told reporters on Tuesday. The government’s landlord is being tapped to host the proposed Cybersecurity National Action Plan center to run a $3.1 billion bid to modernize aging legacy computer systems.
In citing budget highlights, Roth touted savings her agency has achieved, among them $150 million in reduced travel costs, $50 million on revamped financial management functions and $14.2 million in revamped human resources functions. Over the past year, she added, GSA reduced overhead by more than 7 percent.
Major funding requests for 2017 include:
- $759 million for a new FBI headquarters on a new suburban site to replace the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Washington;
- $267 million to deliver a new headquarters to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the next phase of an ongoing Homeland Security Department headquarters construction project on the campus of St. Elizabeths in Washington;
- $248 million to complete the modernization of the Calexico, Calif., U.S. Land Port of Entry to help Customs and Border Protection improve safety;
- More than $91 million in proposed investments for two facilities in Detroit, Mich., including an $81 million upgrade to a GSA building previously purchased for $1, allowing GSA to draw 800 new employees to the neighborhood;
- $12.75 million for the acquisition of the Internal Revenue Service Annex Building in Austin, Texas, to save the government $1.16 million a year in lease payments;
- $22.78 million for improvements to the 46-year-old Austin Finance Center to improve energy efficiency in the Texas facility.
More broadly, the proposal seeks more than $260 million for GSA’s appropriations, including $64 million for the Office of Governmentwide Policy to support the federal government’s adoption of shared services and continue to drive evidence-based program evaluation. The request also includes $58 million for the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies to deliver accessible technology services for online interaction with the government.