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PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE ASSISTANCE ON SPACE
Mr. Fazio. Jim, there is a question about the Architect being authorized to go out and help you find this space. We determined, it would have been much cheaper. The Public Works Committee, I believe, needed to take up this issue. Have you been pursuing it with them?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes. We pursued it. Mr. Fazio. In order to have the legal ability to step in front of GSA and take over the role.
Dr. BILLINGTON. We have pursued this. They looked into additional space needs for the Library, but they did not approve of or propose any new legislation. They directed the Library to continue to satisfy any new space needs through the GSA.
Mr. Fazio. They went with GSA.
Mr. Fazio. Well, let's see what we can do to help here a little bit. It obviously wasn't our intent that that decision come out of the Committee. Of course, we are pleased a decision finally came out of the Committee.
However, we will work to see whether we can reopen the question again; maybe once and for all.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, but I think the way we worked it out this time is going to basically solve the problem for this decade and give us a little breathing space.
GSA SPACE COSTS
Mr. Fazio. I don't fully appreciate, even now, why the costs are so much greater with GSA versus some of the estimates we received from the Architect. Is anybody capable of speaking to that?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Mr. Trew.
Mr. TREW. Good morning. They tell us that they spread costs broadly across their real estate-across the United States. They have some properties that make money, so to speak, and they have some properties that don't make money.
And so, they impose what amounts to administrative surcharges, if you will, and sometimes they can be rather significant. I can remember several years ago at Landover, for instance, when the building owner was getting roughly $800,000 a year from GSA for his rental payment, we were paying something like $1.9 million.
Mr. Fazio. More than twice.
Mr. TREw. More than twice. That doesn't happen with each property you have. They seem to pick on one every year where they make up this additional cost, if you will. Some of our others were closer to what the building owners were really getting. There were still surcharges, but they weren't nearly double what the price was.
Mr. Fazio. You say $1.9 million.
Mr. TREW. $1.9 million. That is not true now, but that was at one point in the past. That actually happened. It was more than double.
Mr. Fazio. I understand that these charges, in some cases, can be justified and documented, but that seems awfully excessive. I don't know why this branch of government wouldn't be allowed to have
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could lease warehouse space for $4-$6 per square foot. GSA, our current leasing agent, quoted us prices ranging from $8.92-$10.41/sq. ft.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Just briefly to conclude on other items, Mr. Chairman, the Copyright Office is requesting a total increase of $1.3 million, offset by our request to use $738,000 of increased receipts, for a net increase of $585,000. Congress enacted a revised copyright fee schedule that went into effect last January.
As a result of this committee's approval to use additional fee revenue, the Copyright Office has been able to reduce the time required to process routine claims from a high of 12 weeks to an average now of six weeks. Ralph Oman, our Register, will expand on these points in his testimony.
CRS has an additional $4.7 million requested, composed of $3.8 million for mandatory pay increases, $412,000 for price level changes, and $500,000 for increased access to commercial data bases, which is critical to the timeliness of responses to Congressional inquiries. Mr. Ross will elaborate on this requirement.
BOOKS FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED
Finally, we are asking for an increase of $3.8 million in order to continue the Library's free national reading program for the blind and physically handicapped. The increase reflects the nature of the program, in which actual production costs dictate budgetary requirements. The increase is not represented in any new program; rather, it permits maintenance at a constant level of service to approximately 700,000 people, and Mr. Cylke can expand on this, if you like.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Library of Congress, we believe, is in a very special position to help the Nation move ahead in the decades to come. It can enrich and foster in many ways the pursuit of truth, as Jefferson foresaw it, making our unmatched collections and knowledgeable staff a ready and increasing source of information for Congress, and a focus of creativity for the Nation.
This is really the only place in the world, Mr. Chairman, where basically everything important that is produced by the human mind is actually read by other human beings.
Mr. Fazio. At least once.
Dr. BILLINGTON. That produces not only the bibliographic record, but an immense st redom. Part of our challenge is to free up the people who
o apply automation more usefully, and to free ther
service to Congress and the Nation. By exploitin
e technology, the Library can enormously incre
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of the few agencies we need to worry about. Most of the rest are housed around Capitol Hill.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Also, there is a relatively small amount of remote access material. The fact that we are a legislative branch entity does make it seem a bit odd. We are involved in paying the average overhead for executive branch facilities all over the country with a whole set of other problems.
Mr. Fazio. GPO seems to have its own authority. Even if we don't want to invest it in you, the Architect is the appropriate entity. It is an additional cost to this branch of government. We like to do it the other way around. Thank you for reminding us.
SPACE RENTAL Dr. BILLINGTON. We have asked for $3.8 million, which is the largest single item in our request aside from mandatories, to undertake this effort to protect our collections and to continue to make them accessible nearby.
Mr. Fazio. I have some questions that I will submit to be answered for the record. [The questions and responses follow:)
SECONDARY STORAGE FACILITY Question. Last year, the Public Works Committee promised to move, on a timely basis, the legislation necessary to help you acquire additional storage space. I realize that hasn't been done—what is the current status?
Response. Senate Report No. 102-81, dated June 12, 1991, stated that funding for a secondary storage facility was premature until the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) completed its study of legislative branch needs. The AOC completed the study on December 11, 1991, and we await a decision on its recommendations to determine whether a central legislative branch facility will be obtained.
The Library met with Public Works staff on February 6, 1992 to discuss the current budget request and clarify the need for space and available options. Since the AOC knows the Library's unique storage requirements (e.g. environmental specifications, security needs, shelving criteria, etc.), the Library conveyed to the Public Works staff the advantages of the AOC controlling the storage of all of the Library's collections, not just items stored in Capitol Hill buildings.
Question. You are asking for $3.8 million for high density storage. Is this primarily the same project we had last year or have you revised your approach?
Response. This is not the same request as last year.
The Library's goal in fiscal 1991 was to obtain 100,000 sq. ft. of secondary storage, part of which would have been used for arrearage processing. This request was denied pending a survey of Legislative Branch warehouse space needs by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC).
In fiscal 1992, the Library requested funding for 50,000 sq. ft. of temporary storage space-25,000 for arrearage reduction support and 25,000 to support general collections growth. This request was also denied as the AOC continued his study.
In fiscal 1993, the Library is asking for funding to relocate its warehousing operations from Landover and convert the approximately 70,000 sq. ft. to collections storage space, thus consolidating the bulk of the Library's remoted collections in one facility. This facility will service the Library's collections storage needs until a longer range storage plan is developed, hopefully in concert with the AOC.
BUILDING RENTAL-OFF CAPITOL HILL Question. The warehousing lease cost that you estimated last year was $11-$15 per square foot. This year, you are estimating $10. That still seems high-the GPO spends about $3. Why is it necessary to pay what appears to be such a premium when the commercial market is so weak?
Response. The estimates last year were for modified warehouse space to accommo