Annually, approximately 10% of SSA's field offices must relocate to a new location when the lease expires at the current location. These relocations are extremely costly--SSA is required to pay GSA an 8% fee to find available space. If suitable vacant building space can't be found, a contract is awarded and a new building is built within the service area. Basically, taxpayer dollars are being used to build a building which the BUILDING OWNER WILL STILL OWN AFTER the lease has expired and SSA has vacated!!! The relocating office is provided a "tenant improvement" fund which pays for building modifications such as adding interior offices, carpet, etc. These costs average $200 to $300 thousand dollars PER OFFICE. Another cost is the relocation of employee workstations from the previous site to the new location which is paid to a private contractor. In 2010, SSA paid out over $20 MILLION dollars to relocate workstations to other locations. So, we have the 8% GSA fee per building + average $200K TI cost + average of $200K to relocate an office. Easily, $500K.
Solution: Use portable, self-contained office trailers (modular, pre-fabricated buildings like Gibralter style homes) instead of building new buildings or relocating into vacant buildings which must then be brought up to code and re-designed to meet SSA's needs. The Government could locate these portable office buildings onto available Government or private land in both metropolitan or extremely rural areas where very few vacant buildings exist. There would the one time cost of purchasing the portable building and designing the interior to meet SSA specs. Rent costs for land would be needed, unless it is available Government land. The workstations would remain with the portable office. Additional space could be added to the building as needed for staff increases.
More details to follow.
SAVINGS: On average, $30 MILLION DOLLARS EACH YEAR. (based on 100 SSA offices x $300K in other costs)