The choice of Greenbelt, Maryland, for the construction of the new FBI headquarters continues to generate controversy, and on Friday the 10th, the 11 members of the Virginia congressional delegation officially requested an investigation into the selection process carried out by the Administration of General Services (GSA).
In a letter, they asked acting GSA inspector general Robert Erickson to launch the investigation, noting that “overwhelming evidence suggests that the General Services Administration administered a site selection process tainted by political considerations and alleged incorrectness.
The Greenbelt area was chosen last week over Landover, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia.
The letter cites a selection panel's decision in August of this year that recommended Springfield as the site of the next headquarters.
“The new Site Selection Authority unilaterally overturned the panel's decision, including making changes to the score, contrary to GSA's own site selection plan, which benefited consideration of the Greenbelt site and disadvantaged the Springfield site,” the legislators stated.
They also raised concerns about a “potential conflict of interest” with a GSA official who played a role in the final decision, noting that he once worked with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The letter was joined by Virginia's two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Democratic House members Gerry Connolly, Robert Scott, Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton and Jennifer McClellan, as well as Republican members Robert Wittman, Jen Kiggans and Morgan Griffith also signed the letter.
The GSA immediately responded that it “welcomes” the review of its decision-making process:
In contrast, Rep. Jamie Raskin, along with a delegation of Maryland lawmakers, publicly applauded the GSA's decision and the site selection process.