Proposed Interim Consolidation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

EMD-80-118: Published: Sep 11, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 1980.

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GAO was required to review the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) interim consolidation plan, and to identify and evaluate other options. An interim consolidation is planned pending completion of a permanent facility of sufficient size. NRC is presently housed in eight buildings in four geographic locations in Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland. The NRC proposed interim consolidation entails relocating about 1200 employees from Montgomery County to Washington, D.C., and consolidating the remaining employees in Bethesda, Maryland. Employees of eight federal agencies would be relocated to the space vacated by NRC. The proposed plan would put senior agency management and the major regulatory offices in the same building and put the agency's research and standards development offices close together.

Some disadvantages of the NRC plan are: (1) high cost; (2) the staff of some organizational units would be split up; (3) many federal agencies being moved will not backfill space vacated by NRC; and (4) the lease on the Washington, D.C., building has expired with no immediate prospects for renewal. The only other practical option for interim consolidation is to move the five Commissioners and their staff to Bethesda, and make room for them by relocating other NRC employees to the Washington, D.C., location. This option is much less costly to implement, and it would accomplish the same basic objectives of the proposed plan. Which interim consolidation would prove more effective from a management standpoint involves many subjective judgments and cannot be clearly evaluated. Neither option is satisfactory as more than an interim step, pending congressional approval, funding, and General Services Administration construction of a facility large enough for the entire agency.

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