Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) commended the Obama Administration's new policy directive to improve federal property management, Freeze the Footprint. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the new policy instructs federal agencies to develop plans to restrict the growth in office and warehouse inventories. It also directs agencies to control the growth in square footage they own and maintain and to facilitate increased coordination between top managers charged with managing federal property. For more information, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/blog.
"As the country's largest property owner and energy user, it is critical that that the federal government continues to improve how it manages its real estate holdings," said Chairman Carper. "Over the past few years, the Obama Administration has recognized the potential for taxpayer savings if federal agencies do a better job of managing the property that they need and eliminating those assets that that they no longer need to out their missions. This new policy is another welcome part of that effort.
"While this action is an important step in the right direction, there is more work to do," continued Chairman Carper. "We have to put a better system in place that would allow federal agencies to better track federal property assets, dispose of those assets that are no longer needed, and better manage those assets that the federal government does need. Fortunately, many of my colleagues in Congress and the Administration remain united in our commitment to address this issue. In the coming months, I look forward to working with them to develop efficient and effective solutions to fix this serious problem."
In March 2012, Chairman Carper led a group of bipartisan senators in the introduction of the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act. The legislation required the federal government to develop a comprehensive data management system, in addition to consolidating and re-aligning existing federal property and eliminating long-term leasing arrangements when building ownership would be more cost effective.