The General Services Administration has ordered a consolidation of the Energy Department's work force in Dallas, which has shrunk over the last two years and now occupies just half of its allocated space in two downtown buildings 13 blocks apart.
But Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) has called out the General Accounting Office to assess the shuffle, and the transfer is on hold for a month.
The GSA wants to move 82 employes of the DOE's Economic Regulatory Administration from their high-rise luxury accommodations at 1341 West Mockingbird to a low-rise at 2626 West Mockingbird. The move would save an estimated $169,000 a year in leasing costs, the GSA says.
Dingell contends that the low-rise building is plagued by leaks, lighting problems and poor central heating and air conditioning. A Dingell aide recently told The Dallas Times Herald that "morale is terrible" among employes facing the transfer.
Dingell, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has a keen interest in comfy lodgings for the DOE workers, who are involved in resolving allegations that some oil companies violated price controls from 1973 to 1981 and overcharged consumers by several billion dollars.
But GSA Public Buildings Commissioner Richard O. Haase said: "I'm not going to bend. It's my job to give federal employes a suitable space, and the building at 2626 West Mockingbird fits that bill."
If anything actually was wrong with the facility, Haase said, work crews would be assigned to repair it. "If I have to argue with a local congressman and two local senators, that's one thing--but here's a congressman from another state questioning a move that is in the best interest of federal taxpayers."