Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation want an investigation into how the General Services Administration chose Greenbelt, Maryland, over Springfield for the site of the new FBI headquarters.
The bipartisan delegation wrote acting Inspector General Robert C. Erickson, Jr. of the GSA, saying it wants the probe because FBI Director Christopher Wray raised concerns about the selection process.
“There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that the General Services Administration (GSA) administered a site selection process fouled by political considerations and alleged impropriety – one that was repeatedly curated to arrive at a predetermined outcome,” the delegation wrote.
The lawmakers said GSA “suppressed, dismissed, and overrode the judgement and recommendations of career officials from GSA and the FBI,” the letter, written Wednesday, said, adding that it led Wray to question the “GSA’s failure to adhere to its own site selection plan.”
After the GSA named Springfield and two Maryland sites, Greenbelt and Landover, as the final three locations for the new headquarters, the GSA in July 2023 changed the original site selection criteria it developed. The lawmakers said the change “favored the Greenbelt site, and did so over the objections of the FBI Director.”
The person who would confirm the final site also changed from a career official to a political appointee.
“As identified by the FBI, there existed a potential conflict of interest with that political appointee, tied to the Greenbelt site. The political appointee then overturned the decision of a panel of career officials who unanimously selected Springfield, in part by changing how certain criteria were calculated and how certain factors were considered, contrary to what had been previously outlined to the public and to Congress by GSA,” the members of Congress said.
The appointee then left the federal government, and the GSA opted to go with the Greenbelt site, despite objections from the FBI.
“These facts, when taken together, paint an ugly picture of a fatally flawed procurement that demands further investigation,” the delegation said.
Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, as well as Reps. Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott, Rob Wittman, Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton, Jennifer McClellan, Jen Kiggans, and Morgan Griffith signed the letter about the new FBI headquarters site.
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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