Senator David Perdue Calls For Full & Fair Cost Analysis of State Department Training Facility
Provision Included In State Department Authorization Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, Internal Operations, and Bilateral International Development, called for an independent and impartial analysis when determining the location of its diplomatic training facility. The State Department is weighing whether to augment an existing facility – the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) – in Brunswick, Georgia, or build from scratch a more expensive training facility in Blackstone, Virginia. Senator Perdue today pushed for a provision to be included in the State Department Authorization bill to require both the OMB and State Department to provide all relevant materials to Congress.
“The American people are frustrated with Washington because it never seems to give a straight answer when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Here, we have multiple federal agencies giving different cost assessments with no justification. Despite an initial conclusion by OMB that expanding FLETC was the more cost-effective option, the Director of OMB deferred their decision to the State Department, who then decided they wanted a new facility.
“We need an honest cost-benefit analysis of these facilities, rather than an apples to. oranges comparison that hides how much it could cost taxpayers down the road. This provision ensures that Congress will see all documents associated with both the OMB and State analysis in a timely fashion.
“While we need to ensure that our diplomats are prepared to operate in an increasingly dangerous world, we must also provide adequate training in the most cost-effective way possible. I applaud Chairman Corker for including this important provision in the State Department Authorization bill today, and I look forward to getting an updated analysis of these options before the State Department moves forward with such a costly and potentially unnecessary project.”
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initially determined that augmenting the existing FLETC facility would save over $200 million and more than $1 billion over ten years when compared to building a new facility. However, the OMB later deferred to the State Department, who preferred the new, more costly facility. The State Department initially estimated the cost of the new facility at $950 million, but then amended their estimate to $413 million, but there is concern that State may ask for additional resources from Congress due to insufficient planning for the facility’s overall needs.
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