Mr. SHUSTER. Madam Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Wolf].
Mr. WOLF. Madam Chairman, I commend the members of the select committee for their work and rise in support of the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1992. I also want to take a moment to discuss a matter which is addressed in the report which accompanies this measure. The matter involves pending discussions on a consolidated Washington-area CIA facility.
Officials at the CIA are currently involved in a site selection process for what would be the consolidation of several CIA offices that are outside of the Langley headquarters complex. I am not predisposed one way or another about the desirability or need for a consolidation. But I believe that as this process moves forward the CIA should carefully consider the effect that a relocation and consolidation would have upon the employees involved and their families, as well as on the mission of the Agency.
I have a strong record of support for the Agency over the years, and have worked to secure many Federal employee programs--such as child day care, leave sharing, and flexible work schedules--that benefit CIA employees. So I have a longstanding interest in the well-being of CIA employees. My concern is that all of the efforts that have been made at the CIA to institute profamily employee programs would be made meaningless unless employee considerations are taken into account as discussions on the consolidation progress.
The CIA employees at the satellite offices have become part of their communities in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. They have joined places of worship, are involved in community service groups, have spouses who are employed here, and have children active at local schools. As the ranking member of the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, I am very concerned about the disruption that a major relocation would have on these families.
The American family is under pressure today such as it has never faced before. And the state of the economy compounds these pressures. If the consolidated site was to be outside of this commuting area, the families involved would face difficult decisions. Employees who move their homes may have spouses who would be unable to find similar employment near the new location. Many who have invested in homes simply would not be able to sell these homes in the current market. Those who decide to make the long commute would have less time to spend with their spouses and children. And my understanding is that some of the locations under consideration would be almost impossible to commute to for CIA employees who currently live in parts of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. In short, there is the potential that the consolidation would have a major effect on the morale of CIA employees.
Just as important is the impact of a consolidation on the ability of the CIA to perform its mission. As the select committee has recognized in this bill, the Agency must change to keep pace with the profound developments in the world community. The CIA will need to be unified to meet the intelligence challenges of the new world order. It would be ill-advised to consolidate if it would create operational and organizational separation at this time when unity is essential.
When discussing a possible consolidation it is important to keep in mind that the CIA is not just another Federal agency: It is the central intelligence function of our Government. It coordinates and oversees the entire intelligence community, and must be close to these and other arms of the Federal Government if it is to carry out its vital mission.
For these reasons, I believe that careful thought must be given to plan for consolidation.
Madam Chairman, at this point I insert a letter addressed to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, June 11, 1991.
Hon. William H. Webster,
Director, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.
Dear Judge Webster: I am writing to supplement our recent discussion about the pending decision on a consolidated Washington-area CIA facility.
As the record of Operation Desert Storm indicates, intelligence is critical to the advancement of U.S. national interests in the world community. The significant changes that have taken place in recent years will require the CIA to face great challenges in the years ahead. Although the consolidation of CIA offices may at first glance seem far removed from these broad matters, I believe that the location of the proposed factility will have a profound effect of the ability of the CIA to effectively meet the challenges of the 1990s and beyond. In the long-term, the location of the facility will affect the way that the CIA institutionally performs its vital mission. In the near-term, the location of the consolidated site and the manner in which the relocation is carried out will determine whether CIA employees face disruption at home and at work, just as they are being called upon to carry out the changing mission of the agency.
As you know, I have supported the CIA over the years and have worked to secure federal employee benefits that have benefited CIA employees. The agency has implemented many problems that I have authored, including on-site child care, leave sharing, and flexible work schedules. We have worked together to resolve disputes with local residents on the physical aspects of the Langley headquarters complex. So I bring to the matter of the consolidation the hope that we can continue our cooperation and comity.
I was deeply concerned to learn of discussions by some at the agency to move forward with a consolidation of several satellite offices in what could be a location far from current headquarters. It also concerns me that I was not informed about the proposal by CIA officials but had to learn about it through a third party.
I have a strong interest in the proposed consolidation not only because it would affect many of my constituents and would involve hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars, but also because a consolidation in a remote location could jeopardize the very future of the central intelligence function of the U.S. government. In the mid-1980s a decision was made to bring several offices of the CIA together in the current headquarters at Langley, in an effort to improve the coordinated operations and efficiency of the agency. The clandestine nature of the operations of the CIA directorates has a centrifugal effect, but many who are knowledgeable about the CIA have told me that the current headquarters setup has made important strides in unifying the operations of the agency. This could be lost if a second consolidation were effected at a site too far from Langley. Geographic separation would bring operational separation and could effectively weaken the integrity of the agency. It could have a very negative effect on the morale and espirt d'corps of CIA employees, and foster an `us' versus `them' attitude that would debilitate the agency.
In addition, it is important when discussion a consolidation and relocation of satellite offices to keep in mind that the CIA is not just another federal agency: it is the central intelligence function of our government. It coordinates and oversees the entire intelligence community, including the departments of Defense, State, Commerce, and Justice. Close proximity to these and other arms of the federal government is essential to the CIA carrying out its mission.
For these reasons, I hope that as the proposal comes up to you for decision, you will give serious thought to its potential impact upon the employees involved and their families, as well as on the ability of the CIA to perform its mission.
As I have looked into the human and capital costs involved, it has grown clear that the farther away the new facility is placed from Langley and Washington, the greater the negative impact of the CIA's mission and on its employees. Since Congress is ultimately responsible for the federal expenditures involved in a consolidation and relocation, I would appreciate the agency providing answers to the following questions. I recognize that in order to be complete, some of the answers might have to get into areas that are sensitive from a national security standpoint. I would appreciate your staff answering these questions at a non-classified level, and then providing separate supplementary answers in a classified document.
1. A primary question involves what the CIA would hope to achieve by consolidating Washington-area facilities. I know that this is an areas of interest to members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as reflected by the report to the Fiscal Year 1992 Intelligence Authorization Act, which calls for a review of CIA facilities and activities to insure that the analysis conducted to support the consolidation is sound. Some who I have spoken with regarding the consolidation suggest that it would affect not only satellite offices, but could also involve employees now assigned to the Langley facility.
(a) What offices in the Washington area would be involved in the consolidation?
(b) How do these offices currently interact with Langley and with federal agencies downtown?
(c) How many trips are required annually between these existing offices and CIA headquarters?
(d) How many trips are required between these offices and other federal agencies in Washington, D.C.?
(e) How would a consolidation affect the current method of interaction between the satellite offices, main CIA headquarters, and federal agencies?
(f) What additional travel costs, including time lost in travel, would be involved?
(g) What modes of travel would be involved?
(h) Would the consolidated site be located near a major airport?
(i) Would it be proximate to a major interstate highway, with direct access to Langley and Washington?
(j) Would it be located near other means of mass transit?
(k) How would a consolidation impact the operations of these offices?
(l) How would the distance of the consolidated site from main headquarters affect the operations of the functions involved?
(m) Would it affect the way that information is transmitted between headquarters and other functions?
(n) What steps would be taken to prevent the consolidated site from developing a separate organizational identity from headquarters?
2. The CIA employees at the satellite offices have become part of their communities in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. They have joined places of worship, are involved in community service groups, have spouses who are employed here, and have children active at local schools. As the ranking member of the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, I am very concerned about the disruption that a major relocation would have on the families involved.
A consolidation in a remote location would be a serious burden on families at a time when the family is already under great pressure. The state of the economy would compound the disruption caused by a major relocation, and families who have invested in their homes would face difficult decisions. Employees who decide to move might have spouses who would be unable to find similar employment at the new location. Those who decide to commute would have less time to spend with their spouses and children. And some of the locations under consideration would be almost impossible to commute to for CIA employees who currently live in Maryland and Washington and parts of Virginia.
(a) How many employees would be involved in the consolidation?
(b) Where do these employees now live?
(c) How does that break down by Congressional district?
(d) What are the pay grades of the employees involved?
(e) How would the consolidation affect commuting patterns?
(f) If the consolidation were to occur in a location far from the current offices, how many employees would willingly relocate?
(g) Would you offer employees who do not wish to relocate other positions of equal pay and tenure within this commuting area?
(h) Do you have assurances that top management at the various offices involved would relocate?
(i) What assistance would be provided to employees who choose not to relocate?
(j) Would eligible employees be offered early-outs?
(k) How many of the employees involved have school-age children?
(l) How many have spouses who also work?
(m) How many of these spouses are employed by the federal government, or in work related to the federal government?
(n) How many of the employees involved are single parents?
(o) Would the relocation of individual employees to timed to consider the needs of school-age children?
(p) Are there employees involved who have children with special educational, physical, or emotional needs that are being met today but might not be met if they were relocated to a remote site?
(q) How are quality of life factors--such as school systems, libraries, transportation systems, medical facilities, higher educational facilities, parks and recreation, and employment opportunities for spouses--being addressed in the evaluation of potential sites?
3. The CIA currently benefits when hiring new employees by recruiting them for service in the Nation's Capital.
(a) How would a consolidation in a remote location affect recruitment efforts?
(b) What provisions would be made for hiring new employees, including recruitment and training, if some current employees chose not to relocate?
4. Moving a federal office entails many incidental costs that must be considered by the agency when determining whether a planned move will be cost-effective.
Because of the present downturn in the real estate market in the Washington areas, many employees would simply be unable to sell their houses if they were relocated to a distant site. Many would choose to commute, regardless of the distance, and this of course would affect moral as well as work performance.
(a) For those who did move their homes, what would be the costs of the federal government in terms of employee relocation allowances such as household goods move, home marketing, new home search and purchase assistance, present home carrying costs, family move, and temporary living costs?
(b) What would be the costs associated with relocating the physical offices of the satellite facilities involved in terms of equipment relocation costs, ADP costs, furniture, communications equipment, and other costs?
(c) What would be the construction costs at the new location?
(d) What have been the capital improvements made at each of the satellite offices involved in the past three years?
(e) What lease penalties at current locations would be due to private lessors?
(f) What would be the additional costs in terms of communications and travel if the consolidated facility is at a remote location?
(g) What other incidental costs would be incurred by the federal government?
5. Concerns have been raised about the manner in which the current site selection process has been conducted.
(a) How many sites have been surveyed in the current site selection process?
(b) What is the preferred size of the site for the proposed consolidation?
(c) Has the CIA considered better use of the space at its present locations?
(d) Has the CIA made attempts to take advantage of the currently depressed real estate market by considering long-term leased space, with an option for federal purchase?
(e) What is the delineated geographic area under consideration for the consolidated?
(f) How was this area determined?
6. Considering each of the items mentioned above, what would be the total costs of a relocation and consolidation, including incidental and employee-related costs?
My hope is that by considering the effects of the proposed consolidation and relocation you will conclude that it is in the best interest of the CIA to keep the proposed limited to an area that is close to CIA headquarters and to Washington D.C. Given that officials at the CIA have been working on the concept for several years and may have already determined the requested information, I would appreciate a response to these questions by July 8.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Frank R. Wolf,
Member of Congress.