tv Hearing Examines Next Steps in Wake of FBI Consolidation Cancellation CSPAN August 6, 2017 6:35pm-8:01pm EDT
competition. to watch any of the videos go to student cam.org and student cam 2018 starts in september with the theme the constitution and you. we're asking students to choose any provision of the u.s. constitution and create a video illustrating why the provision is important. >> plans to build a new f.b.i. headquarters were canceled last month. this past week officials from the f.b.i. and the general services administration spoke to lawmakers about that decision. this hearing is just under an hour-and-a-half. blic works comm chaired by senator john barrasso. >> good morning. i want to thank everyone coming to be with us today. we convene a hearing to listen
to testimony from government witnesses from the general services administration of the federal bureau of investigation and the general accountability office about the cancellation of the fbi headquarters consolidation project and what comes next for housing the fbi. the council project will have replace the current fbi headquarters, the j edgar hoover building located at 935 pennsylvania avenue with the new hecklers in maryland or virginia. involved in exchange for the j edgar hoover building with a private developer. they would then in turn have a campus like facility with proper safeguards for security, suitable for the focus of the intelligence agency more than simply a law enforcement. the new facility would also consolidate the myriad of fbi satellite offices which would make the bureau more efficient
and save taxpayer dollars. no doubt that there is a need to replace the fbi's existing headquarters. the men and women of the fbi would keep a safe deserving office building that meets their needs. security and efficiency arguments for their case is clear. bill is not clear is why the project was suddenly halted. when congress was not notified advance and what happens now. senator should not to find out about a decision of this magnitude by reading about it in the "washington post". regardless as to how the decision was made and how poorly it was rolled out, it is possible that the mechanics of this deal led to this eventual outcome. the exchange of the dead edgar hoover building which was at the heart of this proposal, may have been doomed from the start. according to the gsa inspector general, only eight building exchanges of this type had ever been executed prior to the start of this project. none of those exchanges involve the building with more than $11 million.
while there is one significant exchange in a pipeline, it is not yet complete. the exchange of the j edgar hoover building, a much larger building any of the other completed projects located in the heart of the nation's capital, on one of america's most famous streets is in a completely different league. the questions now are where do we go from here? how do we find a solution?the fbi needs a new headquarters. how do we get there and what do we do in the interim to address the fbi's needs? does it make sense to pump millions of taxpayer dollars into the j edgar hoover building two upgraded only to tear the building down in a few years? especially since there are over hundred million dollars in pending repair and maintenance needs in the building today. to the fbi pare back the many requirements for a new facility reducing its size and scope to make it more affordable for the american taxpayer? we look at alternative financing mechanisms such as a lease buyout arrangement where developers construct and please
a facility fbi with the agency having the option to buy the facility years in the future? i look forward to the testimony today. over the to recognize ranking member tom carper. >> i would like to thank you for all of the work you've done this issue. not just for the fbi, not just for the district of columbia, virginia but for the country. we are blessed by the men and women that service in the fbi. also the gsa and gao. i will set up from the officer. we've been blessed by the wonderful leadership for years. to reconfirm the fbi director, christopher wray has been confirmed yesterday. we are grateful for the leadership and we continue service to the country. i think it is safe to say that we have more questions than answers surrounding this recent decision by the gsa to cancel the consolidated fbi headquarters. hopefully we can learn some of the answers today. prince george's county is home to two of three final locations for the fbi headquarters the
other is in - this will have a significant impact on the region. i have concerns. i know regarding the gsa procurement process. my concerns range from -- however, i would say that my largest concern is where do we go from here? so much energy has already been invested in this endeavor and we have this halted without an alternative plan. there is an obvious need to have the fbi out of the building to a new location to consolidate other fbi locations. simply put, the hoover building is an aging building that no longer meets the needs of the fbi in the 21st century. it separate significantly from maintenance and employees and
lack of investment. and the status quo of the fbi's across a number of locations throughout the d.c. metropolitan area. it is simply unacceptable for the agency to carry out its mission and improve our national security. he reminds me a little bit of a situation the department of homeland security had on the governmental affairs and they - trying to consolidate the bigger part of their department and hopefully we can carry that out in the next couple of years. with increasing maintenance on the hoover building and expensive commercial leases for the fbi annexes and satellite offices, it would seem make sense to me to consolidate the fbi under one roof for something close to one roof, as stewards we should be ensuring that we do all that we can to save taxpayer dollars and create efficiency in government including respect to property management.
something that tom carper and i and others have worked on. for years with many of you. we also ensure that when congress provides adequate funding for construction projects it will help agencies meet their missions. for the last several years i think we said earlier strong advocates for consolidating homeland security's headquarters in saint elizabeth, it just makes sense. it makes dollars and cents, enhances morale. and frankly the spaces that we are paying a lot of money for. let me just close by saying that without adequate funding from congress in the years to come the fbi project, the saint elizabeth project may face unacceptable cost. this is on us in congress. mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from this all-star lineup. i asked you all to do this all off the top of their heads,
using no notes and accept no input from the staff. we will be on the way and get a lot done. thank you very much. >> thank you senator carper. before we turn to witnesses i would like to welcome senator ben cardin. >> thank you for holding hearing. after gsa announced that you and i spoke immediately about holding hearing i want to thank you for that.i want to thank ranking member tom carper for his cooperation in scheduling the hearing. i am going to start by expressing a great deal of frustration as to how this process has gone forward. the delay, mixed messages that we received on financing. and the ignoring of the action of this committee and of congress. as a result, there has been a
waste of taxpayer money. significant waste of money. we compromise the fbi's ability to carry out its critical mission. that is plainly unacceptable. i think this committee deserves an explanation. i hope today that there will be a way forward that we can move towards a consolidated ability for the fbi in a very quick way. so that we can move on for the taxpayers of the country and the important mission that the fbi carries out. let me elaborate on what i just said. the fbi has been in the hoover building since 1974. it lacks usable space. they are in 15 different lease locations around the district of columbia. causing an efficiency in operations additional cost to taxpayers and inability to collaborate which is important
for the fbi to carry out its function and it lacks the security that is necessary for the fbi. all of that is known, it has been known for many years peer there were reports done seven years ago, eight years ago. in 2011, the gsa, fbi came to this committee and said we need help. do something about it. in 2011, six years ago, mr. chairman this committee took action. we passed the prospectus in 2011. that prospectus said very clearly you're directed to proceed with lease transaction on federally owned land with consolidated headquarters facility can we recognize that. we gave you the authority. when we give you the authority we expect that it will be carried out. and that you're going to work with this committee. so what happens next? gsa and omb said no, we do not want to use a leased facility we want to pay for it upfront. that is a heavy lift. with all of that money in the
budget for congress to be able to put in an excess of $1 billion from the time now close to $2 billion to a facility. but that is what gsa and omb wanted. so we proceeded with that. congress cooperated. and fiscal year 16, $390 million was put into the appropriation bill.and in fiscal year 17 $523 million was put. then they made it clear that they would provide the additional monies in fiscal year 18 necessary to complete the project. as the chairman pointed out this was based upon the exchange of the hoover building which added additional resources to this project. in 2013, gsa went forward with the request for information. three sites were selected,
several proposals were filed. gsa came back to the committee in 2016 and said we should update the prospectus in order that it complies without gsa preceding. we passed the new prospectus for you in 2016. given to all of the authority that you needed. so what happens next is hard for us to understand. president trump's fiscal year 18 budget contains zero for the fbi. that is, we do not exactly understand that if we are proceeding with a cash transaction. congress was prepared to move forward as i have already indicated by the report language we put in, the monies that we put in. and then, what i don't understand at all, and i hope this is explained to me, on july 12, 2017 without notice the committee, gsa cancels the procurement. cancels, why? not enough money appropriated by congress? congress appropriated a large sum of money.the president
said they did not need any money because he put no money in the fiscal year 18 budget. was it canceled because you want to go to a lease arrangement? we gave you that authority in 2011. to use the lease of 30. why would you cancel and not come back to us and say we are changing directions? are you saying we do not need a consolidated facility for the fbi? i hope that is not the case because the fbi needs a consolidated facility. i hope we get some answers. as to why it was handled in this way and how can we move forward in an appropriate way but in a way that recognizes the studies that have artie been done on these three locations. we already have a lot of the work done. i think gsa has created a legal problem not because of the word cancellation of the prospectus. i do not understand why you did that. but maybe you can explain how
we will move forward and how you will respect the will of this committee and congress. we told you originally to use the lease purchase you came back and said you wanted to use appropriations. who provided the money and thing you do not move forward. hope we get answers. >> thank you very much senator ben cardin.now we will hear from witnesses. we have drawn is that mr. michael gelber, richard haley, and mr. david weiss. i would like to remind the witnesses that your full written testimony will be part of the official hearing today. i would ask that you please keep your statements to five minutes. so we may have time for questions. mr. michael gelber. >> thank you. good morning chairman john barrasso and members of the 20.
i'm the commissioner of the general services administration. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i wish to discuss how gsa and the fbi jointly determined that the j edgar hoover building no longer meets the needs of the fbi. i will also discuss why gsa initially use the exchange process to help attain a replacement facility but ultimately reach the decision to cancel the procurement. finally, i will discuss how gsa and the fbi are working together to me the fbi's housing needs and mission requirements going forward. in 2011, in accordance with a resolution adopted by this committee, gsa issued a report of building project survey. the report evaluated the following four strategies. to deliver a modern headquarters for the fbi. federal construction, lease construction, lease -- at 30 and net present value analysis of offer options determined that federal construction was
the most cost-effective approach to provide replacement consolidated headquarters facility to house the fbi. under present scoring rules agreed to by the congressional budget office, the budget committees and the office management of budget leased construction or ground leaseback transaction would require full funding upfront. a new fbi headquarters is long-term and will need. federal ownership has been shown to be the lowest cost alternative. they seek to develop capital projects allow gsa to meet agency in the mission needs while pursuing the best value for the american taxpayers.to address federal capital needs federally gsa has a mechanism that is not being fully utilized for the federal buildings fun. gsa has a significant background of unfunded projects. -- in fiscal years 2011 through 2017. full access to gsa rent collections for investment and capital projects is necessary to maintain the portfolio and deliver priority mission-critical federal
facilities.gsa recognizes upfront funding can be used as an impediment to making key investments. under current scoring rules is also the width of the federal government to record federal spending. this administration is considering a number of new federal tools to support better decision-making while maintaining transparency and fiscal restraint. given these facts gsa determined in exchange of the hoover building for a new facility of up to 2.1 million square feet was the most viable funding mechanism to consolidate personnel from the hoover building and multiple lease locations at the lowest possible cost. the exchange process can facilitate the disposal of agency properties that do not meet the federal need allowing gsa to leverage its own inventory to acquire new and more efficient facilities. gsa work closely with the fbi, congress, state and local government and the private sector to meet project milestones. to this end, gsa selected three
preferred sites and a number of preferred developers. as part of this process gsa also analyzed all three preferred sites. pursuant to the national environmental policy act. earlier this year gsa communicated that should full funding be provided, we are ready to select a developer and make an award. in may of the year congress passed the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations act. under that the gsa received $200 million. the fbi received $323 million. of a combined $1.4 billion request. this resulted in a funding gap of $882 million from the requested level. following the enactment of the fiscal year 2017 omnibus, gsa considered various potential paths forward to address the project $882 million funding gap. after internal agency deliberations gsa determined that moving forward without full funding would put the government at risk for project cost. additionally, with gsa and the fbi expressed concerns about potential reduction in the
value of the hoover property since developers were scheduled to receive the property once the fbi consolidated headquarters was concluded. they decided to cancel the procurement. it is fair to say that the cancellation of the procurement was not the desired outcome. members of this and other congressional committees along with federal, state, local and private sector partners put a tremendous amount of time, energy, effort and resources into delivering a modern fbi headquarters. at this time gsa and fbi working together to meet the fbi short and long-term housing needs and mission requirements. this review includes deciding what investments to make in the hoover building now that we know the fbi will be housed there for longer than expected. additionally fbi portfolio lease space is being evaluated as well as options to procure new headquarters for the fbi. in closing, gsa is committed to carrying out our mission of delivering the best value in
real estate, the need for the fbi to have a modern headquarters remains. gsa will continue to work with members of this committee, the fbi and others in the administration and congress to meet this need. i thanked the committee for the opportunity to testify today and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. richard haley. >> thank you chairman john barrasso, and members of the committee for allowing me to appear before you on this project. sitting before you today i am representing a number of individuals at the fbi that have spent years of making this project a reality. a reality that we have not lost sight of despite this current setback. mr. chairman, as you and senator ben cardin and senator tom carper have mentioned i will reiterate that the j edgar hoover building in -- when occupied in the mid-1970s, nearly half of the building was designed for our laboratory
functions, fingerprint operations and paper records storage requirements. all of those functions have been moved decades ago. today in addition to the lack of infrastructure and security required to meet the mission needs, the building struggles to keep up with the organization's needs to continue to be more threat focused and intelligence driven. an organization that must be able to rapidly address threats. our headquarters is the hub of this coordination intelligence and information sharing among our state, local, federal and international partners. it coordinates what's happening across our 56 field offices and over 300 satellite offices across the country. and more 70 offices overseas with our foreign partners. also operates as nerve center of the organization in times of national crisis or emergency during major cases and operations. the current structure of the j edgar hoover building does not allow for us to coordinate this effectively or efficiently. the building itself is not only
inefficient but the technology and physical limitations continue to suffer.everything takes more money and more time to get things done. aside from the physical infrastructure, virtually all the critical building systems, mechanical, electrical and plumbing have deteriorated and are either at the end of their life were beyond their useful life. by the fbi is disappointedly procurement that would have provided the fbi with a facility that meets our mission needs was canceled, it does not change the fact that you mentioned that the fbi needs a consolidated secure resilient intelligence community where the facility is capable of meeting the increased demands of the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement organization. in conclusion the fbi's requirements for enhanced safety, security, stability and collaboration have not changed how we achieve this will need
to be re-examined as you have stated to get to a successful outcome. therefore we appreciate your interest of the hearing and ask for your continued support. i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. mr. wise. >> thank you for the opportunity to discuss our work on the gsa's efforts to consolidate the effort as -- the fbi's headquarters.gsa efforts to implement real property swap exchanges and approaches to funding the projects. in 2011 we reported that over the preceding decade the fbi and gsa studies determined that the hoover building no longer fully supported the fbi's long-term security space and building condition requirements. there have been various annexes around that national capital region and other locations. in the 2011 report we also noted that the condition of the hoover building was deteriorating. and gsa assessments identified significant capitalization needs.
in 2017 we reported that several fbi field offices are in facilities owned by foreign entities which could present a security risk. gsa proposed exchange hoover building to a developer in exchange for construction of a new headquarters building in one of three locations. greenbelt maryland, landover maryland or springfield virginia. however, in july 2017 gsa cancel the procurement because according to gsa and fbi officials they would lack the funding necessary to proceed. gsa official stated that gsa and the fbi would continue to work together to address the space requirements of the fbi. gsa continues to face challenges related to funding your construction projects due in part to budget constraints. using available legal authorities gsa has proposed exchanging title to some federally owned real property for other properties or construction services. known as a swap exchanges peer this was the plan for replacing the hoover building. such exchanges can be of equal value or can include fast and compensate for difference in
value between the federal property and the asset of services to be received by the federal government. gsa has limited experience in successfully completing swap exchanges and his only completed a few relatively small changes in 2001 but under $10 million. in the 2014 report we reviewed five projects are gsa proposed and canceled swap exchange procurement. for example gsa officials told us that there was little or no market interest in baltimore and miami properties. from 2012 to 2015, gsa pursued a large swap exchange intentionally involving up to five properties in the federal triangle south area of washington in order to finance construction of gsa headquarters and other federal properties. in 2013 gsa decided to focus on exchanging only two buildings, the gsa regional office and the right 2016 gsa cancel the procurement state and the private investor valuations for the two buildings fell short of the government estimated values
as well as the amount gsa required to complete the other projects. subsequent to, gsa officials noted that they plan to improve the swap exchange process including property appraisals and outreach to stakeholders. however, several factors may continue to limit gsa. for example, the viability of swap exchanges may be effective by specific market factors such as the availability of alternative properties. in addition, swap exchanges can require developers to spend large sums before receiving title to the property used in the exchanges. in a potentially successful effort in january 2017, gsa agreed to a swap exchange with mit for the dot agent center in cambridge massachusetts. per the agreement mit will construct a new dot facility on a portion of the 14 acre site and will receive title to the remaining sites. gsa indicated that the project once completed, will provide $750 million in value to the federal government. our prior work also identified a number of alternative
approaches to funding the property projects including long-term operating leases, user fees and enhance the use leases. then in 2014 we showed that upfront funding is the best way to ensure the conditions and commitments made and to maintain fiscal controls. however obtaining upfront funding can be challenging. congress has provided some agencies with specific authority to use alternative funding mechanisms for the acquisition, renovation or disposal of federal real property without full upfront funding. projects with alternative funding mechanisms may present a risk that are shared between agency and partners. some mechanisms allow the private sector to provide the projects capital at their cost of borrowing which is normally higher than the government. in some cases, factors such as lower labor costs or fewer requirements could potentially help balance the high cost of borrowing. this work also identified options for changes within the discretionary and mandatory
size of the budget structure. alternative budgetary factors may change budgetary -- make more prudent long-term fiscal decisions. this concludes my prepared statement.i will be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you to all three of you. we will start with questioning and i would like to start with you michael gelber. the project originally began in 2004. the fbi director robert muller requested the gsa recommend a strategy for consolidating the fbi headquarters. in 2011, this committee passed a resolution directing the gsa to investigate the need and feasibility to construct or acquire any of consolidated headquarters facility for the fbi. in more than a decade, with a decision not to abandonment current procurement, are we back at square one?>> not quite at square one. we know quite a bit about the requirements and the surrounding areas. from a procurement standpoint we will need to initiate a new requirement.
>> and everyone must know what happens to the money that has been appropriated for this project? >> the funds are retained in the project budget. they will not be spent. they will only be spent if they reallocate the funding with congressional consent and we can do that. but the money that has been allocated to the project can only be spent on this project. >> since the process to exchange the hoover building for a new headquarters facility since he began the process for exchange, i think it has been unclear too many with the total cost for the project actually is because it was a property exchange. given the fbi's requirements, in your best approximation, what is the actual current cost of the project without a potential exchange factored into it? >> i think the cost estimates centered around $1.6 billion. we have always been reluctant to express a specific cost because of the valuation of hoover, something that we match
the market to determine. that would be fair enema. $1.6 billion. >> mr. wise, i understand the gsa used a build to suit leases to acquire some of the fbi's field offices across the country.could gsa use a similar approach for the fbi headquarters? >> senator, yes that is possible. there are constraints using that process as well because one never quite knows who the owner is. and we recorded that there were several fbi lease buildings that were owned by foreign entities that were maybe or maybe not aware of.that is an issue that needs, certainly needs to be studied especially in a sensitive agency like the fbi. >> thank you mr. wise.mr. haley, considering that the federal budget rules mended the capital investments must be fully funded in advance, and that omb initially recommended this project be rolled out in phases, with the fbi consider a phase approach for this
consolidation -- quickly with the topic earlier. i think the concern with this, and we are familiar in a number of the construction projects that are appropriations committees have provided us funding for. with our facility out in west virginia, our operations done at quantico. we were talking about large 1000 acre sites where you can segregate off or partition off areas for construction and lay down the sides and some ways are so small all three of them that to put a building into place and to operate that building with top-secret and classified information and at the same time be trying to run a construction site, it was always a concern for us. it was also a concern that we not necessarily get to a full consolidation. that somehow that partially be completed and in some state of incompletion and that does not necessary get us to where we are in a better situation.it
was incremental funding that was not necessarily a problem where we got funding over multiple years. we were concerned about partial moving forward through phases. >> news of this first birth through various media outlets the day before gsa gave an official notice to the congressional, to members of congress and staff.it's unfortunate the members of this committee, the authorizing body for gsa on this project had to learn of the sudden decision in the press. you agree that gsa should have alerted its authorizing committee and would you pledge to keep us informed of major decisions in the future? >> yes. but i will also add that the disclosure prior to the committee was not an authorized disclosure and was not part of gsa's land to inform individuals about our decision. >> senator carper. >> thank you for your testimony here today. i mentioned earlier the project and consolidating much of the
department of homeland security at saint elizabeth's in washington d.c.. and trying to draw a parallel between that project and this project. in that project, what decision was made without the gsa to bring many of the far-flung assets and operations of gsa not to one group but to one site. for many years this was a psychiatric hospital for a long time. that project is being funded over several years. part of it actually goes there a couple of different appropriations committees. and for gsa and partly for the department of homeland security. the - i am trying to figure out what it would be an analogy.
for example, after having invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this project, we could actually see the end not too far down the line practically completing it. if the administration were to come in and say zero funding, we are asking for zero funding to complete this project. that would send, frankly an alarming message to us. the department says they need the money, gsa says it is cost effective way to provide quarters for operations. and the administration frankly has not been generous. in their request for continuing -- in one regard, this just seems strange to me. the fbi, this just doesn't seem right. and - everybody acknowledges
that if this is falling down you drive by inducing netting where pieces are literally coming off of the building. and yet, we have an administration this is after all these years, that got us to this point, we do not want to fund it and it should not go for good and that is it. i'm not aware of any consultation. it just doesn't pass the smell test. i would just ask, maybe for mr. haley, could you tell the committee who at omb was involved in this decision? and if this included anyone maybe from the white house? >> you are, first your analogy of saint elizabeth was at that quite a bit. from an fbi perspective on that, we saw the coast guard which was a complete effort on that site be more a link with the fbi. you have an agency that moved on to a department site but it was a complete agency build
more than multiple department pieces. that is how we look at it. our concern was that we end up in a phased approach where we are still all over town and even may be stretched in different ways. the conversations with gsa which have been the conversation that have led to this decision, from our standpoint, the exchange does make it. the procurement made it risky from our standpoint. with everything said about needing a new building and the eagerness of the fbi. especially to get into a new building as soon as possible was overwhelming. at the same time, the way the exchange was done, without the full funding upfront the project was in our own design and working with gsa was always getting all of the funding to be able to move forward. the exchange of words we get out of the hoover building. as long as we are in the hoover building it depreciates the value and it also creates complexities and how the developers are going forward. so that conversation back and forth with gsa leading up to
the decision, our conversations with our own director at omb and they were aware of the decision. i am not familiar with anything above that within the administration that occurred. but from an fbi standpoint, gsa is our landlord. we've hundreds of facilities across the country. we are opening a field office in atlanta next month. it will be an amazing facility. we have operations that have opened up in boston and sacramento. these are amazing buildings. i'll be at least facilities there amazing buildings and allow operations to go forward. this was very gsa, fbi ordination. from our standpoint the rest of either getting a piece of property that was stay dormant for 10 to 15 years. >> i'm going to stop you. my time is limited. can you tell that committee who was involved in this decision? do you know if it included entered from the white house? >> if it were a briefing it would have been gsa branch personnel within lmb. it would be the individuals
that we would have met with. >> just a yes or no question. i would like to ask of mr. michael gelber. as you heard many bipartisan concerns and questions about the gsa decision to end the procurement process for the consolidation. i imagine we want to have time to answer these questions today. in fact i'm sure we will not have time to have answers to all of these questions a paradigm just asking out a yes or no basis, you commit to fully respond to questions reformation of many member of this committee so we can perform our oversight duties? s, or no? >> yes. she is able respond to questions from the chair. >> only the chair? >> gsa's response will be in line with current adventures and policy. administration policy. >> how would you like it if the democrats had the white house majority in the house and the majority in the senate. and we had administration with a policy said we would not respond to your questions?
when you try to do your oversight. you would be outraged! this is outrageous. we cannot stand for this. our job is to do oversight. and for our colleagues to sit here and just listen to this, i can't believe this. golden rule. treat other people the way - how would you like to be treated that way? you would not like it. we need to hear your voices on this, this is outrageous. >> senator rounds. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with senator carper. we did not like it. let me begin just by asking - >> i just want to say i spend a lot of time with, the last demonstration trying to make sure your questions from republican side were answered. a lot of time. and i think - >> i appreciate your comments. i agree with your concern because we did not like it. let me continue on just and
just touch on a couple of items. number one i am just curious with regard to a desired location, right now, is there a specific desired location that has been determined for a new facility? >> if the question was directed at me sir, no, there is no specific location identified. >> lemon loves lime three that we have looked at but we do not have an identifiable location at this point for any facility? >> that is correct, sir. >> i understand we are not at square one. but it's something we are very close to square one. if we actually were to look at the total values involved in this, we would be talking about the value of any facility which i assume would allow us to consolidate a number of the fbi facilities we are currently leasing. 15 facilities that are involved in this. when those 15 facilities then be available or not having
their leases renewed? is that a fair statement? >> it is, sir. >> in doing so, are these owned buildings were leased facilities? >> the leased facilities are leased by the private sector and leased by the federal government by gsa. >> gsa is currently making payments on those. so that those payments are now reconcilable or at least those are recognized in the process if we build a new building and we actually fully fund it upfront. that those lease payments basically go away. fair to say? >> that is correct, sir. >> there is an ongoing cost savings that can be basically applied toward his new location once it is determined? >> that is correct sir. is one of the justifications for the building. there were tens of millions of dollars in payments and other security costs and everything from each of the separate sites that we would have been able to stop paying as we would roll those into a campus environment. >> but that still exists.
>> yes, sir. >> the value of the hoover building, the current value of the hoover building today, what is it? >> sir, that is subject to the way that the hoover building would be disposed of. and we have been reluctant to speak in a public forum about the value of the building because we feel it may affect any future procurements regarding the disposal of the building. >> if you are to build a new facility today, what is the timeframe for building that type of a facility? >> it could take between five and seven years, sir. including the move.>> so we are actually talking about trying to determine the height of the hoover building and a partial offset of the cost we are putting in now? >> that is one of the factors being considered. >> you mentioned that the cbo was involved in discussions in 2011. could you share with us more about their involvement and share with us once again the concern that they expressed about having resources available?
can you clarify that a little bit what their position was? >> the congressional budget office rolled was the score account for these types of major federal capital investments. they approach as similar to budget committees and office management a budget is a major initiative of this nature must be scored or accounted for in the initial year of the transaction. even though the government is making payments in a lease scenario over a period of 20 years, all the costs of the lease must be accounted for in the original year of the lease. >> have you ever worked with cbo on other projects similar to this before? >> we continue to work with more appropriately i think with the omb but we are not directly work with them. >> what was the impact of the cbo determination as to that process? in terms of making the project workable or not under the original format? >> under the original format the project would score again, all of the pending of the
entire project scores in the initial year. so we are looking at up to $2 million cost to be accounted for in one budget cycle. >> making it rather difficult to achieve? >> yes, sir. >> interesting. so, part of what we should be talking about is if we are looking at any types of arrangements like this again in the future, we recognize that we have another hurdle that we have to go through in terms of making that type of a process works for other smaller projects. i understand that when you're talking about a case of where you are leasing it, and then you will try to sell the property that you have got for future value, that most certainly it seems as though the time value got away from us because of the size of the project. and mr. wise, you mentioned that a little bit in terms of if you're looking at actually leaving the hoover building for a period of time, it means that whoever was going to buy that from you would not have access
to the property for an extended period of time. in part because of the large size and extended time for creating this new facility? fair statement? >> yes, sir. one thing i think that made the swap exchange ideas especially challenging for the hoover building is that there is a long time lag between the time that the developers expected to build the new fbi building until they get title to the hoover building and the site around it.so a developer has to have pretty deep pockets to be able to get engage in a project like that. one of the things that we talked about in our report was that you need to look at trying to tighten or lessen the time lag so that the relative value of the hoover building will not deteriorate so much. because of the decline, the longer the time lag, the more, the less value of the building to the developer because he is waiting and waiting. in the meantime he is building something.>> my time is expired but senator carper mentioned this and i want to come back. a long term, if we really want to make sure that these
projects are defensible by both the majority and minority party, i think an effort and an interest in cooperating and getting data back to both the majority and the minority members on any committee most certainly lends to the ability of cooperation that makes things a whole lot easier to get done in this body. we saw it, it was frustrated for us as well with the previous administration on a number of counts. it is something i think that senator carper brings appear and i think it should be something that should be seriously considered with regards to getting these projects moving because as the ranking member indicated, being able to get data and to feel comfortable with the information you are receiving makes them go a whole lot easier if you're able to get responses back through. >> just a moment - >> my time is expired. >> i want to think what you just said.i cannot say how many times especially on the on
the security -- how many times we have said things like what can we do to help? more times than i can count, it was a one answer word. oversight. do your job, oversight. that is what we need to do. and in times they were times when the obama administration was not fully forthcoming in responding. i don't ever remember and administration at a policy from the administration that said, you don't have to respond to anybody doing oversight except the chairman of the committee. so it is a dangerous situation because whoever is on the - if the white house, the president is a democrat and the minority are republicans, the folks that usually on the outside not only in, not the white house - they will likely do that oversight over the administration could you know that and i know that. so to have a policy from administration us as we will
only respond to inquiries from the chairman and the majority, that is a dangerous thing. >> let me just add, the administration has responsibility to be responsive to request by all members get another white house director of legislative affairs recently wrote to chairman grassley stating quote - i have the letter here. wait one second. july 20. a week and 1/2. said quote - the administration's policy is to respect the rights of all individual members regardless of party affiliation. to request information about executive branch policies and programs. the letter, and i'm going to ask this to be admitted into the record. without objection. the first letter goes on to say the administration will use its best efforts to be as timely and responsive as possible in answering such requests. so, is a gsa intending to abide
by the policy described by the letter of july 20 of this year? >> yes.>> thank you. senator cardin. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman i have been on this committee almost 11 years and i do not remember ever having any disagreements in regards to our oversight of dsa. we've always worked in a nonpartisan way because we're trying to get the best deals for the taxpayers of the country. i expect that will be continued and i intend to work with, through step with the senators staff and request information from gsa as it relates to the fbi chairman because i think there's additional documents to be used across the city and i will work with the chairman so this will be i hope in mutual request. >> i want to work with you here. i'm really trying to get things done here. i do not understand almost square one. if i understand your authority, you could select a site today.
there is no problem with the authority to announce a location. i understand because you canceled the procurement you need to now explain the rules they are going to operate and give developers an opportunity to come forward. by narrowing it to one of the three locations, this is already been done so to expedite the process. so where am i wrong by, you can about this a lot faster than you just said? >> we could in fact select estate as you stated. concern is without the full funding and structure of the procurement we were operating under we had no insurance and being able to comply - >> i just want to make sure, you can move quicker. congress can help you in those decisions. it would have been i think very helpful for us, if before you terminated you would have met with and talked with people who have been involved in authorizing and funding this
program moving forward. because i point out, the difference between an operating and capital lease could be defined in different ways. which raises questions as to whether we should approve these perspectives moving forward where there is full funding throughout the entire term because you characterize it as an operating lease. we might think it is a capital lease. so i think you are raising an issue here which could jeopardize the ability of our agencies to have adequate facilities. the work with us. i don't think anybody in this committee wants to delay the fbi having an adequate facility could we do not want to wait five or six years. we can get it done sooner. but work with us in that regard. we want the best location, the best facility, the most efficient facility for the taxpayers in the country. this committee will work with you in that regard. i must tell you, do you have
any idea how much money has been wasted by what we have done in the last six years? do you have any idea how much the agencies have invested into the fbi consolidations?how much time has been spent by your agency, the fbi, ohman b. how much time by the state of virginia in their proposals and going through with that to do? the state of maryland, prince georges county, how much money spent by the developers to comply with mixed messages coming out of gsa? do you have any ideas how many millions and millions have been wasted? >> we are where how much we have spent and that is around $1 million to date, sir. >> that is wasted. >> some can be repurposed by the majority may not be. >> i think all of us are concerned about waste. would like to have a $20 million spent so the fbi can carry out its mission. a question was asked to you by several of us about working with us to get this done. i want to make sure that it is
done in an open and fair manner. i want to certainly make sure that the jurisdictions that are directly involved, that they are representative - that their representatives are fully participating in whatever this is. i would hope that we can expedite the location. certainly it simple presence. we could expedite the issues and give you confidence through the appropriations and authorizes that we are prepared. we already put up $800 million. that is a lot! more than $800 million. i do not want to shortchange this. $913 million we have already put up. and that does not include the hoover building. and it senator you're right, they will not say the value of the hoover of building. it is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. we already know that. there is already available, well in excess of $1 billion already been appropriated by congress for this project.
it is clear to me that you need a new consolidated facility and i appreciate you cannot use the piecemeal approach because of the reasons that you just said. we need to figure out a way because you hear us nodding our heads to put $2 billion in one year's appropriation for one building consolidation is not realistic. you know it is just not realistic. we have got to figure out a way to do it. i would really hope that we are not getting to the point that we have to hold out every prospectus here. and not to stop the location. but to make sure that we are not going down a path six years after we passed a perspective that we are back to square one. >> thank you senator cardin. >> thank you. -- the hoover building and office annexes and the national capital region did not fully
support the long-term security space and building conditions requirements. and mr. haley, how have the conditions changed since 2011? since the gao's report has come out. and what has been the effect of these changes on the fbi's ability to actually meet its mission? >> thank you ma'am. really nothing has changed. all of the issues still exist. if anything, as i mentioned in the opening statement, many of the mechanical parts of the building -- i forgot a prop i was going to bring you one of the pipe that recently busted. many of these are resting from the inside out. we have thousands of miles of piping. we had gray metal desks and filing cabinets will be moved into the building. it is now a technological hub. just to move one wire going through concrete, the facility
is not designed for that. everything takes an additional amount of funding a lot of time, frustration on the operational side because they need something today and it may be months or even years before we can get all of the pieces in the building. having entities spread out all over town means that your spending much of your day driving from one location to another through d.c. traffic just to try and get around. those issues are still there. >> right so the condition of the building is not getting better over time. the it struggles are still there and those take time and dollars. >> yes, ma'am. we appreciate gsa has recently changed the netting which keeps the concrete from falling off because the old netting had to be replaced with a worn out it was up so long. the issues are still there and they continue to get worse. >> he mentioned the time spent traveling back and forth between many of the annex building. all of that cost dollars. >> yes, ma'am for the leases you mentioned sir that we are
happy to renew the leases. in some cases, that requires us to re-compete them for long-term additional cost going in. so many mechanicals will have to replace in the building. you put an hvac system and you're expecting it to last 20 years or 30 years. we may only be there another 10. so we have to put infrastructure in that we may not fully amateur riser get the full use of. >> right. so the number of issues have been identified today. there is a pathway forward, maybe two steps back. mr. wise, what recommendations would you have for gsa to help move this project forward in a meaningful manner? >> senator, thank you. i think in the case of this project all of the options need to be examined closely and analyzed. what are the risks? how long will it take? what are the costs and benefits of one site over another or one method over another in terms of financing the project. i think it is something that the committee needs to also look at very closely as the options are presented for moving forward. it is a complicated arrangement
and clearly, the swap exchange was a difficult maneuver with a situation where many pieces have to fall into place kind of a complicated mosaic of effort and adjusted not really worked out. now it really needs to look at what might be feasible going forward. keeping in mind also, the very real security needs that my colleague has brought up here as well. that has to factor in which is a serious problem on the current facility with, especially on the north side. >> exactly. i thank you very much. i think it will be a very complicated issue. especially if the swap exchange is not the alternative. moving forward. but we do have to find a way to make sure that the fbi has a usable space.a space that is secure where they can actually meet their mission requirements. with that, i yield back.
>> i'm sorry mr. testimony but i was able to read this. for me and the day for all of us who have seen this collapse of the process for a replacement raises questions. as you know i've chaired the appropriations subcommittee which oversees funding for the gsa. this has been a moving target first to try to follow. i believe we found out the cancellation of this through the newspaper as well. rather than informing the appropriations committee properly and the rest of congress in general. as to what was going on. you already mentioned that the gsa has spent $20 million. how much is the fbi spent mr. haley? thus far in the project? >> i would not want to give you an exact number ma'am but it has been a significant investment.
much of that has been our professional staff and individuals that sit behind me. the individual engineer that actually build our facility originally in the biometric facility that you are well aware of was brought into d.c. to lead the project. he is sitting behind me here. we have invested a lot of educational resources on this. now at the same time, the $500 million we have sitting in the account, the appropriations. we hope that this project will take on a similar anatomy like the building where we were able to instrumentally bring those funds in and at the point of the funding was available, we were able to move forward with that capital investment.>> i was going to mention that with senator ben cardin i do not want to mention a great fbi facility have west virginia.i did not want to throw another location into the next but we do enjoy and it is a wonderful facility.we are very pleased about that. so, we are at a point where how
did we get here? and how are we going to make improvements? if i heard you correctly, did you say that you need the $2 billion in one year in appropriations before you can move forward? >> if we are to move forward with a federal construction project or long-term lease. that is how the project would be accounted under the federal - >> is that the reason he went for the swap concept? >> at the end of the day yes. it was not the preferred option but with the restraints we were operating under and the inability to gain full access to the money and the federal buildings fund, it is why we opted for the exchange. >> have you done a swap exchange of this magnitude before? >> not of this magnitude. >> i have a little black mark by it right now. what we have seen the development to this point. let me ask you another question mr. wise. in your written testimony you stated that gsa employees told you part of the research we are
2014 report that part of the appeal of the exchange model that we just talked about little bit was to avoid reliance upon the appropriations process. and yet, the agency's state that the project failed for lack of appropriations division to offset the difference between the value of the hoover building and the new headquarters. i think the approach to try to avoid either oversight or the congressional appropriations process is i think not very palatable to those of us that sit here and those of us to sit on the appropriations committee and the authorizing committee. and so would you say that is a primary motivation to work in this manner? or was it something i am not seeing? >> i would leave the motivations up to my colleagues from gsa to describe. but swap construct is as i think we were saying it is another way to try to move forward on federal construction with the knowledge that the
senator says it is to get full funding upfront. that is the most effective way to build something. it is pretty clear.i think everyone agrees on that. a lease is arrangement one way or another normally ends up costing more. for various reasons. but in the terms of the swap a key criteria swap construct is that you need a situation where the property, it really helps if the government need is equal to the property giving up.and then it was not the case here because it was far in excess. that is why they were coming back for additional appropriations. a project of this magnitude is very complicated to run under a swap because as we talked about the testimonies, the previous experience that gsa had in the area was very limited. one example i can give you in san antonio was a small piece
of land for a parking garage. several million dollars. it worked out well because it was of value in the private sector really wanted as part of federal land. and gsa really want to the parking garage. they were about equal. this is a magnitude of almost you know, much greater magnitude and complexity. that was a technique that gsa hoped it could work to make this building happen. to make the project happen but i think the hoover building situation just was too difficult to fulfill this way. >> can i ask him a question? you know we are throwing $2 billion around the get a confirmed number. $2 billion, what kind of assurances can you give us here that $2 billion does not lead to $3 billion?what kind of firm number is that? and are changes being made in design i am sure as you look at
this as you move forward, certain needs may change. what kind of confidence do you have that $2 billion is either sufficient or not enough or too much? >> we with the fbi have requirements that we then developed an estimate around that number. then we have bids submitted for the project that give us a sense of how the market was responded to the request. >> and they came in at about $2 billion then? >> if gsa received the funding in the budget we would have been able to award the project. >> i would add from an fbi perspective that was one of the factors as we coordinating with gsa agreeing to canceling the procurement was the concern about that. with exchange and as the senator mentioned earlier, the developer cannot get the building until we get out of it. as you extend that. on there was potential for the cost and we have always, we
have been very clear with this were there were appropriators that we were trying to be as transparent and honest with the cost coming out of cjs and we did not want to see the cost escalated. as you extended the number of years with this procurement that would have had to take it was not just a building. we would talk about militant facilities from a number of sites. we were for the course would come up and would have to come back in and those would look like cost escalations versus just time and the cost of the dollar going forward. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> on behalf of john barrasso, -- >> thank you. decisions to cancel the procurement was made by the gsa and the fbi. the fbi the time was lacking senate confirmed directors. is the reason that you could not have waited for the decision of this magnitude to be made once your senior leadership was in place? >> the constraints around the project would not have gotten
better. the cost of the project would continue to increase and as mr. haley referenced in mr. wise also referenced the hoover property will continue to decrease. at the end of the deadly situation we faced was by waiting we would not learn anything new in the process. and the cost of the project if we chose to go forward would only have increased. >> to what extent was omb and the white house involved in the decision? >> as we normally do on major project decisions we inform the staff level colleagues at the office of management and budget about the matter. >> but not the white house? >> correct. we do not engage at that level. >> who is the highest ranking official personally signing off in the decision to cancel the headquarters acumen? >> within the general services the ministration would have been the acting administrator. >> to expect that there will be additional costs associated with the fbi manning and the hoover building and other properties for a longer period of time? >> yes, and we are currently
evaluating what the cost will be in partnership with the fbi. >> one of the additional cost and how do you expect them to be paid for? >> we have some discretionary funding that we referred to as below prospectus level authority which are projects under $3 million. the key question is how much to be investing hoover building knowing we are going to move out of it? we want to make sure that the fbi has a usable state facility. >> have the additional cost there with cost escalations that prompted your agency to cancel the headquarters? >> the concern was that we were not sure when and where they would stop. given the uncertainty around the escalations we know what the cost and risk was were remaining at lease space. with the cost and risk was remaining in hoover. even if they were on par or less than, the concern going forward with the project with the unknown around where the cost would go. >> did you include appropriators in the conversations? >> we have either had a regular
cadence of meetings at the appropriators level throughout the life of the project. an regulated reported where we stood on the project up until our meeting to decide to inform individuals we cancel the project.>> prior to the enactment of the fiscal year 2017 appropriations legislation did you communicate to the appropriators of the procurement that it was at risk if the bill did not have the entire request in the presence budget? >> we communicated the need for funding was key for the project to move forward. different medication was in march of this year we stated that we had met all of the fair project milestones to proceed with the project but were awaiting a resolution in the fiscal year 17 budget cycle. >> can i just ask you an unrelated question i would like you to provide for the record about - i've been working with my colleagues to refill the statutory requirement selling plum island which i believe unnecessarily ties the government hands from considering all options for the
use of the island including continued federal ownership by a different agency. that said i would like to ask you a few questions about the sale process that you currently are undertaking. if he did none of the answers just for the record fine. what entity will you be required to clean of any environmental contamination associated with the plum island animal disease center? federal government or the buyer? >> the federal government or if there is anything has not been addressed, the government notifies owner the properties that they need to and must be aware of what is on the soil in the property. >> weatherby stipulations on when and how the cleanup has to occur? >> i am not familiar with specifics around the issue but i can get back to you. >> had his gsa proposed is the revenue from the sale of the island?>> revenue is returned to believe either miscellaneous receipts account to the treasury of the federal building fund. our ability to access either the cans if you will is subject
to congressional approval. >> has the gsa had scheduled with fish and while like about my grand bird -- >> i'm assuming but i can confirm as part of the disposal process we have range of federal agencies whenever we are disposing a particular property. >> if congress repeals the -- when they have an opportunity to acquire the property and how would that occur? >> it is only under the custom of the department of homeland security. at the point when they would no longer require property, it would be made available to other federal agencies. >> great, thank you so much. thank you mr. chairman for the hearing. >> on behalf of senator john barrasso i recognize the sender ben cardin. >> thank you. as the discussion about this being more expensive than direct appropriations. it is intuitive and correct. we point out that today's economic environment with the interest rates being what they
are, there are certain advantages to using long-term lease purchases and the cost differential could be not very great. just point that out from what i understand. secondly, the swap is very unusual for this size. i understand that and the reasons it was done. there were three developers interested in that financing arrangement reduces seven different development alternatives. so there was at least interest out there for the hoover building. whether it was the best deal for the federal government, we may never know. but certainly there was interest out there. i'm going to come back to this last point. gsa has the authority to select a location. gsa has the authority to figure out what financing mechanism works best. they can gently work with congress in order to get whatever they need.congress has expressed itself in numerous ways that we want to help you. we know that the overall funding in one fiscal year is going to be extremely
challenging. it is even more challenging now that we have terminated the contract. so we have to find a way to move this quicker than saying is going to get another four, five or six years before we get this done. because the fbi cannot wait and taxpayers demand is to be more efficient in this. so i urge you to work with not only authorizing but the appropriating committees. you have a good deal of information working with the fbi. working with what has already been developed. to move this project in a fast way consistent with law that you using a lot of the information already obtained. i would urge you to do that so that we can make this project move sooner rather than later. >> any other questions? we are in the middle of a vote.
i appreciate everyone being here and taking the time as you have. i was going to turn to senator tom carper for any additional thoughts or questions. >> mr. chairman, i do have first of all want to say thank you for the letter found senator grassley. the white house to senator grassley. the director of legislative affairs speaks to my concerns about the minority and majority being able to do oversight. >> images that you've been a wonderful partner to work with. i want to continue to work with you. i want to make sure that we work together to get all of the answers we all need. >> thank you. i returned the compliment to you. i also have i would like to ask for the record, a letter from tim horton dated june 6 be resubmitted some collections to them. i think the questions that we had asked him and my letter to munsey.
my letter to him june 6, 2017. we have not received a response on. i would just ask that we have request for a timely response from the folks at gsa. thank you. the other thing i wanted to, folks from the review when you raise your hands please? raise them hi, hold them up. i just want to say, as the former chairman and senior democrat in home security how much we appreciate the work you do. i was in a meeting earlier and that came to mind that we talked a bit about budget deficits and we seem to take our eyes off the ball there. and they continue to grow. i think the budget deficit will grow by another hundred billion dollars this year alone. we are looking at $700 billion deficit from $400 billion here now we are back and no one is
really paying attention to it. it is a cause for concern. i know it is to folks from wyoming and senators. one of the things that i - often elect to focus on is the work that you do it she i/o in the high-risk list. and it is really important work and one of the things i sought to do and -- argues that it is the to do list. do we need to raise some revenues? do need to cut spending? will probably do. he also gives a great roadmap. a great to do list. one of things is the issue that we work with you a lot is -- to the extent that the work that
ends up in legislation, real property management. how does it address and come into contact with a particular issue before us today? we spent a lot of time trying to put together legislation, guidance, deputy administration to work and more appropriate way with input to save money in the way we handle property, real property. how does the legislation affect this issue? >> senator, as you know, real properties on the high-risk list for long time since 2003. one of the key things, this is not necessarily specific to the fbi but certainly it is related. one of the elements that we looked at very hard over the years is the importance of accurate data in order to enable federal agencies real property managers to make good
decisions and what to do with their excess property or how to best use what resources they have. all along, we have pushed a number of recommendations to omb and gsa along these lines and to the credit of gsa, they made a lot of progress in improving the federal real property profile. the legislation that your bill from 2016, the federal real property reform act, you sponsored. >> along with senator portman. >> certainly and assist because it is something that we think is quite important. and that is the ability to give a good break to the taxpayer and save money is really much more in consolidation of federal offices into owned facilities versus leased facilities pretty somewhat related to what we're talking about today but it is also
general point that i think is very important. for overall management of the federal real property portfolio.as a result, we think that, and as you mentioned as the bill specifies, improving the data and also looking at postal facilities as a potential area that we can consolidate federal office into space available because a lot of sorting facilities are not sorting much anymore. >> mail processing centers is down a couple of years ago we had 600 of them. now we are down to about 300. >> yeah, so there is a lot of potential there. although you know again, these are more -- >> in rockford illinois over the weekend. >> the issue with the postal facilities, they are much more like factories and office space. so they need some resources in order to renovate them and make them suitable for office space. there's a lot of potential for consolidation. again, until you get really
excited handle on the data and the accuracy, it is very difficult for agencies to make these kinds of decisions. so yes, your point is well taken that the issue around management and federal real property has a potential relationship to the fbi issue at hand today. >> last thing i was a mr. chairman, during my time in delaware, we still we actually have three budgets. -- but we know that the fiscally smart decision for providing for space, whether it is for the fbi or anybody else in the federal government. often times it is for the federal government to build and own property. it is a smart way to do it. senator cardin -- in a year or
maybe over two years for something like the fbi building. it is just very hard to do. in the end we save money. we save money over the long haul. but the budget process, it does not reward that behavior. i will ask some records. it seems to get at this conundrum. and we appreciate your response to the questions. i look forward to hearing from the folks and more consistently in the future. thank you.and to the fbi, god bless you. >> as you wrap up i want to make some observations. it is clear the fbi in his new headquarters. picking up the hoover building with a $100 million backlog of maintenance needs makes little sense.that the elaborate plan
to swap the hoover building for a new headquarters facility was in hindsight, not the best option. we need a new cost-effective and achievable plan to get the fbi into a new headquarters facility. i would like to ask a witness is one final question. we commit to providing congress a workable solution to the fbi's headquarter needs within 120 days? >> yes, sir.>> absolutely sir. >> they both said absolutely. [laughter] >> that is the job of the demonstration. we will be happy to come in and evaluate it. >> maybe you can give us advice along the way. >> always happy to do that, sir. >> you can expect that this committee will hold another hearing on the subject before the end of the year. with that i want to thank all of you for being here. other members may submit questions for the record. the hearing record will be open
it. for millennium with the flu virus. we learned to live with it. you do certain things when you know you are exposed and they know the flu is going around. you try to get a shot to an ocular caps off, isolate yourself from folks that have the flu. there are hygienic measures we take in the is a home world that are analogous in the digital world. -- in the physical world that are analogous to the digital world. >> in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. tonight on c-span, q&a with cate lineberry, followed by the chinese president, marking the 90th anniversary of china's
people's liberation army and the ceremony in beijing. later, the iranian president is sworn in for a second term and gives an inaugural address to dignitaries gathered in tehran. ♪ >> this week on q&a, journalist and author cate lineberry. she discusses her book "be free or die," the amazing story of robert smalls escape from slavery to union hero. cate lineberry. when did you first get interested in robert smalls, and who was he? guest: i first learned about history a few years ago. i was looking for another idea. my youngest brother sent me a or