Justice Department's Use of Leased Office Space in the Washington, D.C. Area

Gao ID: GGD-85-7 November 7, 1984

In response to a congressional request, GAO studied: (1) the amount and cost of rental space used by the Department of Justice in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area; (2) Justice's utilization of rental space; and (3) the movement of Justice employees within the area during the past 3 years.

GAO found that Justice occupied space in 41 leased buildings in the Washington metropolitan area at some point during the past 3 years, at a cost of $45.5 million. The General Services Administration (GSA) leased the space and Justice paid rent to GSA. Employees were housed at multiple locations because space was needed to accommodate staff expansion. Justice identified six area locations leased during fiscal year (FY) 1983 at which additional personnel could be housed within existing space allocations. Justice plans to use the excess space to meet the need to accommodate planned increased staff levels during FY's 1984 and 1985. Justice plans to improve space utilization at these locations by assigning two employees to offices currently occupied by one employee. In addition, Justice and GSA have approved a proposal to consolidate Justice operations into space at fewer locations. However, Congress has not authorized GSA to award a lease for the space needed to implement the proposal. During FY 1981 through FY 1983, Justice offices moved 60 times at an estimated cost of at least $266,733.

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