(Extensions of Remarks - October 21, 1996)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1931-E1932]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                       HON. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON

                      of the district of columbia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, October 21, 1996

  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak in regard to the 
colloquy between Mr. Lightfoot and Mr. Tom Coburn concerning the 
relocation of the Federal Communications Commission into the Portals 
Building, in Washington DC, and enter into the Record a letter from the 
Administrator of General Services Administration about this issue. In 
addition to summarizing the court proceedings which ruled that GSA 
reinstate the space procurement and proceed with the planned move for 
the FCC into the Portals, the Administrator of GSA details the costs 
associated with any delay in the move.


                              General Services Administration,

                                  Washington, DC, October 7, 1996.
     Hon. Robert Kerrey,
     Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal 
         Service, and General Government, Committee on 
         Appropriations, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Kerrey: I am writing to express my most 
     serious concerns regarding the delay of the consolidation of 
     the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the Portals 
     Complex in Washington, DC. This move was the subject of 
     colloquies on the floors of the House and Senate on September 
     28, 1996, and September 30, 1996, respectively. Because I do 
     not believe the colloquies reflected critical pertinent 
     information, I would like to request that this letter be 
     added to the Record. The Court of Federal Claims issued a 
     specific ruling on this matter that was upheld by the U.S. 
     Court of Appeals. Furthermore, a delay of the FCC's 
     relocation will cost the Government over $19 million annually 
     in rental costs.
       It is in the best interest of the Federal Government to 
     consolidate the FCC at the Portals complex for the following 
       1. The Federal courts instructed the General Services 
     Administration (GSA) to award a lease at the Portals for the 
     FCC, and GSA has complied with their instructions.
       2. GSA signed a 20-year firm-term lease with Portals to 
     consolidate the FCC headquarters. If the FCC is not relocated 
     to Portals, it will cost the Federal Government more than $19 
     million annually for each year that the space remains vacant, 
     with no resulting benefits.
       3. The FCC is currently located in seven locations in 
     Washington, DC. This has resulted in increased operating 
     costs. Relocation to a consolidated site will eliminate this 
     costly and undesirable condition.
       4. The FCC's current space requirements are consistent with 
     their space in the Portals Complex.
       5. The Federal Government will pay $31.99 per rentable 
     square foot (rsf) ($38.47 per occupiable square foot (osf)) 
     for the FCC lease consolidation. This is below the amount 
     authorized by the Congress ($32.30 per rsf). In addition, 
     this is at the low end of the rental range in Washington, DC, 
     which is $29 to $40 per rsf.\1\
     \1\ Note: GSA utilizes two space measurements in lease 
     prospectuses, occupiable and rentable square feet, (osf) and 
     (rsf), respectively. OSF is a national standard for GSA, and 
     is the space which is available for use by an agencies 
     personnel or furnishings excluding hallways, restrooms, and 
     vertical penetrations such as elevators and stairwells. RSF 
     is usually a larger area than osf, and is calculated by 
     measuring from inside wall to inside wall excluding any 
     vertical penetrations.


[[Page E1932]]

       6. Both the House and Senate Public Works Committees 
     authorized the consolidation of the FCC headquarters, 
     indicating congressional support for the project.
       Since 1987, the General Services Administration (GSA) has 
     attempted to consolidate the FCC headquarters from dispersed 
     locations in Washington, DC. On July 9, 1987, GSA submitted a 
     lease prospectus totaling 260,416 osf for the FCC 
     headquarters. The prospectus was authorized by the House 
     Committee on Public Works and Transportation on September 23, 
       Subsequent to the approval of the lease prospectus, the 
     FCC's space needs grew because of new programs such as the 
     Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1992. As a result 
     of this growth, GSA canceled the lease procurement on 
     February 10, 1992. At the time of the cancellation, GSA had 
     selected Parcel 49C Limited Partnership (Portals) as the 
     successful offeror. The Parcel 49C Limited Partnership sued 
     GSA because of the canceled lease procurement. On February 
     28, 1994, the Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of 49C 
     Limited Partnership, and returned the lease procurement to 
     the point prior to lease award. In response to GSA's argument 
     that resolution was necessary to accommodate the FCC's space 
     needs, the Federal Circuit ruled specifically that 
     resolicitation was not in the public interest and would 
     ``result in further, unnecessary expenditures of Government 
     resources,'' and that the existing award could accommodate 
     the FCC's prior and future space needs. GSA appealed the 
     ruling, and on August 1, 1994, the United States Court of 
     Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Court of Federal 
     Claims ruling.
       On August 12, 1994, GSA awarded a lease to Parcel 49C for 
     260,416 osf, consistent with the fiscal year 1988 lease 
     prospectus and in accordance with the court ruling. GSA 
     negotiated a second lease reflecting the FCC's expanded 
     requirement. This second lease would only be effective, 
     following the approval of the Public Works Committees of the 
     House and Senate. On September 23, 1994, GSA submitted a 
     lease prospectus for 545,076 osf to meet the entire estimated 
     FCC requirement. The House Committee on Public Works and 
     Transportation, and the Senate Committee on Environment and 
     Public Works, authorized 450,416 osf for the FCC headquarters 
     on September 26, 1994, and October 10, 1995, respectively.
       Because of the unacceptable cost implications of not moving 
     the FCC to the Portals, we are continuing to explore 
     alternative methods of paying for the FCC's relocation costs. 
     It may well be that we can reduce the costs of moving and of 
     fitting out the Portals Complex, and we will work with the 
     FCC to try to reduce those costs while making sure that the 
     FCC can function effectively at the Portals. GSA will report 
     back to the Subcommittee when the new Congress convenes.
       If you have any questions, please have a member of your 
     staff contact Mr. David Bibb, Deputy Commissioner, Public 
     Buildings Service, on (202) 501-1100.
                                                  David J. Barram,
     Acting Administrator.