DHS Increases Planned Staffing at New Headquarters to 17,000

March 22, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security hopes to squeeze about 17,000 employees — about 3,000 more than originally planned — onto its consolidated headquarters in southeast Washington.

But most of those employees won't begin arriving until five years from now. Because of budget cuts and resulting construction delays, about 3,700 Coast Guard employees will be the only tenants until fiscal 2017.

Rafael Borras, undersecretary for management at DHS, laid out the department's revised plans at a hearing Wednesday before the House Appropriations subcommittee responsible for approving the DHS budget.

The department will attempt to save money by ending leases and using telework and alternative work schedules to increase occupancy at the headquarters, which is under construction on the former St. Elizabeths Hospital campus.

"That will require us to change where we work and how we think about work," Borras said, adding that many employees may not need traditional offices.

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