Robyn Could Jump Start GSA Effort to Shed Excess Properties, Panel Chairman Says

The leading proponent of legislation that would create a civilian BRAC commission to expedite the disposal of thousands of unneeded federal properties is pushing the General Services Administration (GSA) to adopt his proposal, citing this week’s appointment of Dorothy Robyn, DOD’s installations chief, to commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service as a possible first step toward that goal.

“We are hopeful that Dr. Robyn’s experience working with the DOD’s BRAC process will encourage greater innovation and cost efficiency within the GSA by utilizing CPRA [Civilian Property Realignment Act] to streamline the process and ensure the effective and efficient sale or consolidation of these properties, resulting in huge cost savings for taxpayers,” Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure’s Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee, said in a written statement.

Denham’s bill, the Civilian Property Realignment Act, would establish a framework through which an independent, nine-member commission would review federal properties and make recommendations for consolidations, co-locations, redevelopment or sale. The House passed the measure, H.R. 1734, in February. So far, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has not considered the measure.

Several industry executives praised GSA’s selection of Robyn to head the unit that manages the federal government’s real estate portfolio, reported the Washington Business Journal.

“The job she has now is really the head of facilities for the military, and I think it’s a great training ground for the challenges the GSA will present her,” said Kurt Stout, executive vice president of government solutions at Colliers International. “The real estate commissioner is really just someone who understands the challenges of leasing space in the private sector and is going to take a leadership role in doing things to improve that process.”

Meanwhile, DOD has confirmed that Robyn’s deputy, John Conger, will become the acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment after she leaves. Robyn is expected to assume her new post on Sept. 17.

Dan Cohen
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