Dan Mathews, the commissioner of GSA’s Public Building Service, said Tuesday that the agency will focus the bulk of its attention in the coming years on right-sizing about 1,100 leases that make up the “vast majority of the money.”
The data set includes more than 300,000 buildings, laboratories, warehouses and other structures.
The Veterans Affairs Department will immediately get rid of 71 vacant or nearly empty facilities. VA will eliminate another 71 buildings within the next six months. It’s part of the department’s long term effort to trim its inventory of outdated, underutilized or vacant buildings within the next two years.
President Donald Trump brings to the White House years of experience in construction and building management, which has some wondering what that could mean for the federal real property ledger.
The Food and Drug Administration’s headquarters in White Oak, Maryland needs some work to address cramped office space and a lack of parking spots. But government auditors say the agency needs to do a better job linking its strategic mission with future facilities plans.
The federal government is making progress when it comes to shrinking its real property footprint, but auditors says data accuracy and red tape are preventing agencies from being more streamlined with its real estate.
A group of five senators introduced a bill that would add new incentives for agencies to sell or lease empty and under-used federal property. The Federal Property Management Reform Act also sets stricter requirements for keeping track of federal buildings.
Data problems continue to haunt the Obama administration’s efforts to tame the government’s property portfolio. But they are not the same problems of yesteryear.
The Obama administration admits the government doesn’t need all of the 2.8 billion square feet of property it owns and leases worldwide. But it’s struggled to identify the property it can safely shed. New tools out this summer could provide a breakthrough.
Over the last two years, agencies have done a better job collecting information about their real property holdings. The Office of Management and Budget hopes that now can lead the government to better decision making. But Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) plans to introduce legislation to add “more teeth” to the government’s property disposal process.