Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a report reviewing DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) planning for a future FBI Headquarters facility. In 2013, the FBI described its need for a new Headquarters facility as “urgently needed” and it developed a plan with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to build a new FBI Headquarters campus facility in Maryland or Virginia. In 2018, GSA and the FBI abandoned this long-standing plan. Instead, in a revised plan submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, GSA and the FBI recommended the demolition of the existing FBI Headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building (JEH), and the construction of a new facility on that site (JEH site).
The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that despite considerable work, DOJ and the FBI have achieved little progress in their goal of obtaining a new FBI Headquarters facility. In 2022, Congress passed legislation requiring GSA to select one of the original suburban sites for a consolidated FBI Headquarters. Subsequently, the current administration announced plans for a suburban campus as well as a continued FBI presence in downtown Washington, D.C.
The OIG’s findings included the following:
- No Evidence Was Found that the FBI’s Recommendation to Build a New FBI Headquarters at the JEH Site Was Based on Improper Considerations or Motives. The OIG found no evidence that the FBI’s decision to recommend building a new FBI Headquarters facility at the JEH site in the revised plan submitted to Congress was based on improper considerations or motives. Further, the OIG credited evidence that the FBI’s decision was reached independently.
- The Revised FBI Headquarters Plan Inadequately and Ambiguously Summarized the Proposed New Facility’s Security. The revised plan submitted to Congress contained ambiguous facility security information about the proposed new facility at the JEH site and omitted other facility security information known by the FBI that was a change from the prior suburban campus facility plan. This finding is summarized in the report released today and further described in a non-public classified appendix delivered to Congress, DOJ leadership, and the FBI.
- The FBI Security Division Was Not Sufficiently Consulted Regarding a Facility Security Standard. At the time of the revised plan’s submission to Congress, the FBI Finance and Facilities Division did not sufficiently consult the FBI Security Division regarding a relevant facility security standard, which may have resulted in the FBI Director and Congressional members and staff receiving inaccurate information about the proposed new facility’s security under the standard. This finding also is summarized in the report released today and further described in a non-public classified appendix.