When a federal accountability office reviews a federal decision on a federal facility placement, what are the chances it will find fault?
The U.S. Government Accountability Office just reviewed the decision process that put the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new western headquarters in an impoverished, crime-ridden north St. Louis neighborhood rather than next to its biggest client, Scott Air Force Base. Predictably, they found everything was hunky-dory.
No evidence that our former Commander-in-Thief betrayed his home state and used the $945 million construction project as an urban renewal project to make up for the Ferguson race riots. No finding that military mission and security was compromised for social engineering.
They did tip-toe around the issue that this decision was made with no concern for the additional costs related to putting the facility in a landlocked, urban setting that put little old ladies out of their homes. The facility could have gone on free land secured by a military base and with access from an interstate highway and mass transit light rail system.
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“It did not fully include information on the risks and sensitivities to cost estimates. ... NGA plans to develop full cost estimates as part of construction, planning, and design,” the GAO report stated.
In other words, we have to build it to see what it costs. How very Pelosi of them.
They also repeated the insult that no high-tech employees would want to live over here, where schools are much better, housing costs are much better, crime is lower, the commute is easy and the landscape is trees rather than a burned-out crack house.
Maybe the most telling snippet from the GAO report was about the NGA and its shifting values: “instances in which criteria were ranked or weighted after the analysis began” and “the director adjusted the weight of a few criteria toward the end of the ... process” and “used different weights over the course of the evaluation process” with “little justification provided.”
Translation: The fix was in, and they adjusted the questions to fit the answer they wanted.