Hearing in Los Angeles to Focus on GSA’s $400 Million Courthouse Project

Aug 14, 2012 Issues: Government Waste

Washington, DC – A proposal to build a $400 million federal courthouse in Los Angeles – and create yet another empty federal building – will be the focus of a Congressional hearing in LA on Friday. 

The hearing is the next in a series held this Congress by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee to highlight the problem of taxpayer money wasted on empty and underutilized federal buildings across the country. 

While the General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that acts as the federal government’s landlord, has become recently notorious for lavish conferences and junkets to exotic locations, it has also been responsible for wasting billions of dollars mismanaging vacant and under-utilized federal properties across this country. 

In Los Angeles, the GSA is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create more empty federal space by building a new 3rd courthouse, even though the number of judges could fit into just one of the two existing courthouses.  Overbuilding is not unique to this proposed project; the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that between 2000 and 2010, GSA built 3.56 million square feet of extra courthouse space, based on overestimations of the number of future judges, lack of courtroom sharing, and GSA’s tendency to construct larger buildings than authorized by Congress.

Previous hearings held in empty federal buildings by Subcommittee Chairman U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Full Committee Chairman U.S. John L. Mica (R-FL) have spurred the GSA into making significant decisions about better utilizing those properties.  Friday’s hearing in LA will focus on an opportunity to prevent the creation of more wasted federal space.  Click here for further background information.

This hearing is open to the public and press.  Please note, video and recording will only be permitted inside the courtroom being used for the hearing, Courtroom 890.  Members of the media who plan to attend, please RSVP to Justin.Harclerode@mail.house.gov (202-226-8767) or Amanda.Maddox@mail.house.gov (202-731-3222).

WHAT:           “LA Courthouse: GSA’s Plan to Spend $400 Million to Create Vacant Space” – Hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chairman

WHEN:           10:00 a.m. (Pacific Time), Friday, August 17, 2012

WHERE:         Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Courtroom 890

255 East Temple Street

Los Angeles, California 90012

WITNESSES:

  • The Honorable Daniel Tangherlini (Invited), Acting Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration
  • Mr. Mark L. Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure, U.S. Government Accountability Office