GSA statement on Old Post Office Tower operations

January 4, 2019

WASHINGTON -- The recent closing and reopening of the observation tower at GSA’s Old Post Office facility was unrelated to the facility's tenant.

Since 1983, GSA has been required by law (P.L. 98-1) to enter into an agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) for operating the observation tower. The law also authorizes GSA to pay NPS for this service from the Federal Buildings Fund. Balances within the Federal Buildings Fund remain available to operate federal facilities, as needed, until they are expended, notwithstanding a lapse in appropriations.

As a result, NPS operations of the observation tower remained funded even though NPS experienced a lapse in appropriations.

Upon realization of the observation tower closure, GSA advised NPS that operations at the observation tower would continue to be funded. In this process, it was discovered that the interagency agreement required by the 1983 law had expired earlier in the year. GSA and NPS subsequently renewed the interagency agreement, and NPS resumed operation of the tower as required by law.

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