Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Homeland Security Headquarters Over Budget

The construction of a massive new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security, billed as critical for national security and the revitalization of Southeast Washington, is running more than $1.5 billion over budget, is 11 years behind schedule and may never be completed, according to planning documents and federal officials.

Now what? This is the question the mind of many reporters today. It has been announced that “The entire complex was to be finished as early as this year, at a cost of less than $3 billion, according to the initial plan. Instead, with the exception of a Coast Guard building that opened last year, the grounds remain entirely undeveloped, with the occasional deer grazing amid the vacant Gothic Revival-style structures. The budget has ballooned to $4.5 billion, with completion pushed back to 2026. Even now, as Obama administration officials make the best of their limited funding, they have started design work for a second building that congressional aides and others familiar with the project say may never open.” – At least this is the report the Washington Post put in the paper today.

There isn’t much we can do about the spending at this point. It is like building a house one cannot afford and then being stuck with a half built house that can’t be sold in the middle of everything. We do need the space for the department and then again- we don’t. Heck, we have been functioning without it all this time, right? This brings up the question of “was it ever needed in the first place?” And then the onslaught of even more anger of budgets and projects, etc.

I wanted to talk, briefly, about this issue today because it is important. While no one has an immediate answer, we should address the elephant in the room.

Twyla N. Garrett

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