GSA swap deals questioned

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Inspector General has said the federal agency faces significant challenges from the risks related to large-scale exchanges of real property; RFP for FBI swap due.

In its annual report, the GSA’s independent watchdog has said the large-scale property exchanges being pursued by the agency – including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Headquarters Consolidation and the Federal Triangle South project – are "high-risk projects because both qualify as major construction projects and are subject to the risks associated with being completed on time, on budget, and within scope".
The report adds that the complexities of exchange transactions create major challenges for the agency, with the risk increased because GSA has not performed such exchanges in the past.
It is suggested that the federal government could potentially obtain a better deal for a new asset or construction services and potentially larger proceeds for the disposed of federal property if it were to use traditional acquisition and disposal methods. Issues including a lack of transparency and potential funding gaps are also highlighted.
In response, the GSA management has acknowledged the challenges related to the exchanges and is monitoring the projects but is continuing to pursue large-scale property exchanges. 
The report coincided with the release of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the FBI headquarters building last month. In the EIS the GSA said the shortlist of potential development teams has recently been identified, and a request for proposals is forthcoming.
JBG Development Group, Hunt Companies and Republic Properties Corp were shortlisted in March for the Federal Triangle South swap deal with a winner expected by fall.