Review of the Relocation of the Social Security Administration District Office in Kankakee, Illinois

Gao ID: LCD-80-34 January 30, 1980

A member of Congress requested a review of the actions taken by the General Services Administration (GSA) to lease space for the relocation of the Social Security Administration (SSA) district office in Kankakee, Illinois. The member was concerned about: (1) whether all offerors responding to the GSA request for leased space were properly considered, (2) why the planned occupancy date was postponed several times, and (3) if the property selected was located within the city's central business district.

GSA solicited space for the SSA when relocation became necessary as a result of the termination of the lease at the district office in Kankakee, Illinois. GSA found two offers to be responsive to its solicitation, selected one of the two, and notified both of its decision. Notices were not sent to other offerors because their offers were considered withdrawn. During the solicitation process, one of the offerors notified GSA that it was putting its property on the real estate market. Since this was not allowed under the solicitation, GSA considered that offeror to be withdrawn. Offerors were sent an amendment to the solicitation, and the withdrawn offeror returned a statement accepting the conditions of the amendment. GSA officials said that they did not acknowledge the statement because it was either misplaced or misrouted. Several months after the award was made, this offeror questioned GSA as to why it had not been informed of the award. GAO felt that the GSA action could have been more prudent, but could find nothing wrong with the consideration given to the offers received. The projected occupancy date was postponed three times during the solicitation because of the need to solicit solely in the Kankakee central business district and because of GSA administrative problems. As for the determination of the boundaries of the central business district, GAO felt that the determination made by GSA was valid. The new leased property was within those boundaries.

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