The General Services Administration's Decision Not To Construct a Federal Building Project in Omaha, NE

GGD-83-100: Published: Sep 30, 1983. Publicly Released: Oct 11, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the General Services Administration's (GSA) decision not to construct a new federal office building in Omaha, Nebraska, despite an earlier determination that such a building was needed.

GAO found that GSA was directed by a congressional committee in 1978 to investigate the need for construction of the office building. GSA subsequently proposed to Congress the construction of the building in Omaha to accommodate a relocation of personnel from government-owned and government-leased space and to provide space for future agencies' expansion, and this project received congressional approval. The continuing appropriations resolution for fiscal year (FY) 1982 provided funds for the project. The FY 1982 funds appropriation prompted GSA to evaluate and update the need for the building, and this evaluation showed that the agency's space needs in Omaha had decreased by about 50 percent since the project was proposed. The GSA Kansas City regional administrator recommended that GSA not proceed with the proposed project because of the reduced space requirements, an expected drop in federal employment to be housed in GSA-controlled space, an existing high ratio of government-owned to leased space in Omaha, and a proposed decrease in the number of square feet of space each federal employee will be authorized in the future. The GSA public buildings service commissioner agreed with the regional administrator's recommendation, and the proposed office building was canceled. The funds appropriated for the project were reprogramed by GSA, with the approval of Congress, to help cover a shortfall in leased space funds in the GSA leasing program. GAO believes that the GSA decision to cancel the construction was appropriate.

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