WASHINGTON — On Sunday, President Obama signed The Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act of 2015, into law. This legislation, sponsored by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), directs the secretary of Homeland Security to provide Congress information on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters consolidation project at the St. Elizabeths campus in Washington, D.C., and to inform Congress of its progress on completing it. The project has experienced problems including cost overruns, delays, and funding shortfalls. This review includes a proposed occupancy plan for the consolidation project and a comprehensive assessment of the difference between current and future DHS facility requirements.
Senators Johnson and Carper said this about the bill signing:
“Ensuring taxpayer dollars are used effectively is one of my priorities as chairman of this committee,” said Johnson. “This bill will hold the administration accountable while ensuring future spending on facilities is done efficiently, and for the right reasons. Giving the DHS the resources it needs to keep our nation safe is important while also ensuring we aren’t wasting taxpayer funds on things we don’t need.”
“I am pleased that the legislation I cosponsored with Senator Ron Johnson to continue making progress on the DHS consolidation project at St. Elizabeths is finally law. The consolidation project is critical to supporting DHS’s mission, reducing management challenges, and making the Department’s operations more efficient. It will also save taxpayers over $700 million over the next 30 years. Completion of the St. Elizabeths campus makes good financial and managerial sense and will make the department more than just the sum of its parts. I commend the President for signing this important legislation, and urge my colleagues in Congress to continue supporting the St. Elizabeth’s consolidation project in the fiscal year 2017 appropriations process,” said Carper.
Additional requirements include:
- Providing updated costs and schedule for the current plan.
- Providing any projected cost savings associated with reducing the scope of the consolidation project and increasing use of existing capacity under the project.
- A current plan for the remaining DHS leased facilities in the Washington area.
- Providing an analysis that identifies the costs and benefits of leasing and construction alternatives.
- Requires the comptroller general to review the project’s cost and schedule estimates to evaluate their quality and reliability.