Omnibus Retains Restriction on Underutilized Facilities

The Defense Department is barred from spending fiscal 2014 funds maintaining facilities it no longer uses, according to the omnibus spending bill signed into law last week.

The language — originally added on the House floor last July to that chamber’s version of the defense spending bill — is intended to eliminate wasteful spending by the department and is not targeted at installations closed through BRAC, according to the office of Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), who sponsored the amendment.

The amendment would prohibit DOD from using funds from the appropriations bill to maintain or improve facilities with a zero percent utilization rate according to the department’s real property inventory database. Exceptions include the need to maintain an historic property and “to prevent a negative environmental impact as required by the National Environmental Policy Act,” according to the joint explanatory statement for the FY 2014 defense spending bill.

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees similarly urged DOD to eliminate wasteful spending on unused properties rated at zero percent utilization in the military construction portion of the FY 2014 omnibus.

“The DOD is urged to manage its facilities and properties in a responsible manner that does not waste taxpayer resources,” according to the joint explanatory statement for that section of the omnibus.

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