Tags: House | Subpoena | foreign affairs committee

House Issues Subpoena on Diplomatic Training Facility

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 11:52 AM

Amid concerns about cost, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is demanding that the Obama administration release details of its plans to build a nearly $1 billion training facility for diplomatic security personnel.

Committee chairman Ed Royce has issued a subpoena to the Office of Management and Budget to compel the release of documents detailing the cost effectiveness of the project.

He argues that an existing training site operated by the Department of Homeland Security would be sufficient for current training needs, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

"The State Department proposal appears far more costly than the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) proposal to expand its Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, to provide State Department diplomatic security training, as is currently taking place," Royce's office said in a statement issued Friday, following the subpoena, the Beacon reported.

"In an increasingly dangerous world, the security of U.S. diplomats abroad is paramount. We must ensure that our diplomats receive improved security training, and a big part of providing that training effectively is making the most of our limited resources," Royce said in a statement.

Royce contends that the facility is unnecessary and imposes an undue burden on the taxpayer. He has been seeking documents about the project since 2014, including two analyses arguing that the State Department house the diplomatic training program with the existing DHS facility.

Royce's office said Friday that the OMB has not given any indication about whether it will fully comply with the requests to turn over the documents.

"That is why for nearly a year, I've been asking OMB to provide the Committee with its analysis, which according to OMB officials' statements to Committee staff, recommended using an existing facility — a course that the Administration has apparently chosen to ignore. I'd like to know the factors considered in this important decision," he said, according to the Beacon.

Plans for the facility came about after the deadly attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. It is slated to be built in Blackstone, Virginia. The initial cost projection for the project was $413 million but further estimates had the cost escalate to $950 million, which prompted the concerns of lawmakers.

The OMB told the Beacon that it is working with the committee to comply with its requests.

"OMB has been working with the committee in good faith to provide relevant material responsive to its requests and will continue to do so," said Melanie Roussell, a spokeswoman for the OMB.

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Amid concerns about cost, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is demanding that the Obama administration release details of its plans to build a nearly $1 billion training facility for diplomatic security personnel.
House, Subpoena, foreign affairs committee
414
2015-52-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 11:52 AM
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