oversight

Cost to the Federal Government for Supplying the Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, With a New Car Every Year

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-05-21.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Dear Mr.     Dlngell

       Further    reference      1s made to your letter         dated March 31,
1971, requesting        a report    that would Include        lnformatlon     on
the cost to the Government of supplylng                 a new armored vehicle,
each year during the last 10 years or so, for the use of the
Dlrector     of the Federal       Bureau of Investzgation.           We have ob-
tanned the following         lnformatlon    from dlscussrons         with offl-
clals of the General Services            Admlnlstratlon       and the Federal
Bureau of Investlgatlon           and from approprlatlon         documents and
General Services Admlnlstratlon            procurement      records.

       In each     of the last 7 fiscal     years--the     perlodOfor       which
records were       available  --the General Services       Admlnlstratlon
has contracted       with the Hess and Elsenhardt         Co., Clnclnnatl,
Ohio, for the       purchase of a specially      modified     vehicle     for the
Bureau     The     dates of the contract     awards and the contract
costs of the       seven vehicles   follow

                       Date of award                       cost
                   December 28, 1964                     $ 17,336
                   December  7, 1965                       18,533
                   December 29, 1966                       19,377
                   February 28, 1968                       21,114
                   January   6, 1969                       23,241
                   February  6, 1970                       27,665
                   January  11, 1971                       29,875

                                                         $157,141
        The contractor,        which speclalnzes            in customlzsng      vehicles,
furnished     vehicles      built      by the Cadillac        Dlvlslon,      General
Motors Corporation.            The principal         modlflcatlons        made by the
contractor      to each vehicle          have been the lnstallatlon             of armor
plating     and bullet-resistant            glass.      To carry the additional
weight,     each vehicle       has had a heavy-duty             frame, a heavy-duty
suspension      system, and heavy-duty             tires.       The January 1971
contract     speclfled      that the delivered            vehicle     also have In-
dlvldually      controlled        front   and rear heating          and air-
condltlonlng       systems, an automatic             transmission,        automatic


                           5OTH ANNWERSARY 1921- 1971
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                    B-164935



                    door locks,    power brakes and power steering,          a standard   broad-
                    cast band radio receiver        installed    in the passenger     compart-
                    ment, a slren,     a spare battery,       a mobile telephone,     and
                    various   dlmenslonal    requirements

                            General Services        Admlnlstratlon       procurement       offlclals
                    told us that they had attempted                to interest      other contractors
                    in these procurements           and that each of the procurements,                   ex-
                    cept the latest        one, had been formally           advertised.          After
                    procurlng     the 1970 model,        it was determined          a necessity        from
                    a security      standpoint      to avoid publicly         dlscloslng       the loca-
                    tion of the armor and other details                 set forth      in the speclfl-
                    cations       Consequently,       the procurement         of the 1971 model was
                    negotiated      rather     than advertised.         Proposals      were sollclted
                    from nine companies,           but only Hess and Elsenhardt              responded.

                            A new armored vehicle          1s purchased        each year and 1s usu-
                    ally    retained      about 4-l/2     years,    after    which the armor and
                    other law enforcement           features     are removed and the vehicle                 IS
                    sold to the highest          bidder       The proceeds        are applied         to the
                    purchase      of a new vehicle           Normally,      two vehicles         are located
                    in Washington,          D C , to ensure that one vehicle               will     always
                    be available,         since the vehicles        require     frequent        maintenance
                    and repair       service      Also one vehicle          1s kept in New York, N Y ,
                    and one is kept in Los Angeles,               Callfornla          The vehicles         are
                    used by the Bureau Director,              the Attorney        General,       and, occa-
                    sionally,      by the Bureau for lnvestlgatlon                purposes       and by the
                    Secret     Service

                            Bureau offnclals      told us      that the need for the armored
                    vehicles     was evidenced      by the     fact that there were 42 threats
                    on the DIrector’s        life   during     the 15-month   period   ended March
                    1971      They told us also that           an alternatlve    to the use of
                    armored vehicles       by the Director         would be the use of a mlnlmum
                    of four agents for a security              detail   at an annual cost of about
                    $110,000.

                          Bureau offlclals     pointed   out that,      since the vehicles
                    were customized      to the Bureau’s    requirements,       a leasing  ar-
                    rangement   appeared    to offer   no opportunltles       for savings   to

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        B-164935



        the Government.     They also commented that a comparison,            whxh
        has appeared In newspapers,      of the cost of purchasxng         these
        vehxles     with the cost of leasing    vehicles    for the President
        is not meaningful,     because manufacturers     are inclined      to make
        price   concessions  to encourage    the use of their     products     by
        the President.

                 Since 1936 the Congress has speclflcally                      authorized      the
        purchase      of an armored vehicle           in the Bureau’s           annual appro-
        priation      acts.      Dlscussaons      concerning     these vehicles           appeared
        In the printed         approprlatlon        hearings   for the years 1937 and
        1939-42 ‘ Bureau offlclals              told us further          that,     because of
        the public       interest      In the vehicles,      the vehicles           were dls-
        cussed In some detail            when the Director         testified         on March 5,
        1971, before        the Subcommittee         on Departments         of State,       Justice,
        and Commerce, the Judlclary              , and Related       Agencies,         of the
        House Committee          on Approprlatlons.

              The foregoing lnformatlon               has been confirmed      by offlclals
        of the Bureau and the General                Services Admlnlstratlon.

                We found     no lndxatlon         of legal       lmproprlety      concerning
        the    acqulsntlon     of these       vehicles.

                We trust     that    this   lnformatlon       will    serve    the purpose       of
        your    Inquiry.

                                                     Sincerely       yours,




                                                     Comptroller  General
                                                     of the Unated States

        The Honorable  John D. Dlngell
        House of Representatives
LCOST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTFOR SUPPLYING THE                                                      B-1 64935
  DIRECTOR, FEDERAL~BUREAUOF INVESTIGATION, WITH A                                                     5-21-71
  NEW CAR EVERY YEA&,&-EEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE
  GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION


                                            RESTRICTED


       Report    to Congressman            John D. Dlngell                 pursuant     to   his request.

       We furnished        lnformatlon           for     each of the last              seven fiscal      years--

 the period     for     which    records     were avallable--of                     the cost to the Govern-

 ment of supplying         a new armored               vehicle       to the Dxrector          of the Federal

 Bureau of Investlgatlon,                 The dates of the contract                     awards and the

 contract     costs of the        seven     vehxcles             follow.

                        Date of award                                        cost

                      December    28,     1964                             $ 17,336
                      December     7,     1965                               18,533
                      December    29,     1966                               19,377
                      February    28,     1968                               21,114
                      January      6,     1969                               23,241
                      February     6,     1970                               27,665
                      January     11,     1971                               29,875

                                                                           $157,141