Signs of Progress in Federal Effort to Pare List of Excess Properties

At a House hearing on Tuesday, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said the federal government’s ownership of 7,000 unneeded properties worth $350 billion is “unacceptable.”

“The Congress and public will be astounded to learn of the unbelievable inventory of properties uncovered in documents provided to the committee after waiting nearly three years,” said Mica, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Government Operations Subcommittee.

Nearly 1,500 of the unneeded properties are valued in the multi-million-dollar range, reported Government Executive.

Administration witnesses described an active effort to trim the government’s level of excess properties. The General Services Administration (GSA), the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Real Property Council have been working together to carry out President Obama’s real property strategy, said David Mader, controller at OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management.

The strategy calls for freezing the government’s real estate footprint, measuring performance in achieving efficiencies, and cutting the inventory of unneeded properties, Mader said.

In fiscal 2013, GSA sold or transferred 213 facilities nationwide, generating $97.7 million in sales, Michael Gelber, deputy commissioner of the agency’s Public Buildings Service, told the panel. So far in fiscal 2014, the agency has sold or transferred 223 facilities, generating $29.3 million in sales.

A webcast of the hearing, along with the witnesses’ written testimony, is available on the committee website.


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