The acting inspector general for the General Services Administration is investigating the decision to build the FBI’s new headquarters in Maryland, rather than Virginia.
The decision comes two weeks after Virginia’s congressional delegation asked for the probe, saying that the “site selection process fouled by political considerations and alleged impropriety.” FBI Director Christopher Wray also raised concerns about the selection process.
“Given the overwhelming evidence suggesting that the General Services Administration (GSA) administered a site selection process fouled by politics, we agree that an inspector general investigation is the appropriate next step,” the bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers said in a statement Thursday.
“We applaud the inspector general for moving quickly and encourage him to move forward to complete a careful and thorough review. In the meantime, the GSA must pause all activities related to the relocation until the IG’s investigation is complete.”
In a letter to Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., acting Inspector General Robert Erickson said his office would assess the agency’s process and procedures for the site selection. “We intend to begin this work immediately and will share with you and the relevant committees a copy of any report which may result from this evaluation,” he wrote.
The GSA selected Greenbelt, Maryland, over Landover, Maryland, and Springfield on November 8. The three have been the finalists for the multibillion-dollar, state-of-the-art complex since 2014.
The lawmakers in their request for the probe said a political appointee tied to the Greenbelt site 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.”
After the GSA changed the site criteria in July 2023, a 61-acre site outside the Greenbelt Metro station was selected.
Feature image, Andriy Blokhin, stock.adobe.com
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