GSA releases transition funds

After Vice President Al Gore conceded the presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush Wednesday night, General Services Administration chief David Barram announced that GSA would release transition funds and provide office space to the Bush transition team.

The 2000 Presidential Transition Act, passed in October, allocates more than $5 million for the transition and expands GSA's role in it. GSA will publish a transition directory with information on each agency, and will help arrange briefings and furnish appointees with information on topics such as ethics and financial disclosure regulations. GSA's transition office is at 1800 G Street NW in Washington.

Republican lawmakers had criticized Barram's decision to withhold transition funds pending Gore's challenge to election results in Florida. Last week, Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif., chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, held hearings on the issue. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., then introduced a bill that would've required GSA to support the Bush transition.

Barram had said he would not release the funds until an "apparent successful candidate" had been determined, as mandated in the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. The Transition Act requires GSA to provide federal money, office space and other logistical support to the incoming and outgoing administrations.