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 * 1 . G . 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 2 . 1 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
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)