Information on Housing the SEC at Multiple Locations in the Washington, D.C. Area

Gao ID: FGMSD-80-59 May 20, 1980

Several questions were raised about the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) current utilization of office space. The SEC has requested independent leasing authority to consolidate its four Washington, D.C., area locations. Legislation requires that leased office space be obtained through the General Services Administration (GSA).

Of the professional staff members assigned to the Commission's Washington offices, 37 percent share an office. The professionals sharing offices have an average grade level of GS-12. GSA publishes standards governing the assignment of office space which are based on employee grade level to insure that each employee has sufficient space to work efficiently. A full determination of the extent of travel between the Commission's Washington office buildings was difficult to obtain since records were not available. The primary means of travel between the office buildings is a shuttle service which runs every 30 minutes. The Commission did not have information indicating why such travel was necessary. However, a survey of passengers indicated that they were generally meeting with personnel from their organizations located in another building. The Commission has requested its own independent leasing authority because it believes that GSA has made limited progress toward obtaining a building which will permit the Commission to consolidate. Granting such authority may not be consistent with the primary goal of legislation to centralize the property management activities of the Government. Legislation is now pending that would revise the way GSA conducts its public buildings program. One of the goals of this legislation is to eliminate the projects in which the Government pledges to lease a building to be constructed by a private firm. The bill is designed to provide a more viable Federal construction program and thereby reduce the Government's reliance on leased space.

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