As Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today introduced a bill to reform the General Services Administration (GSA) and save taxpayer money. The bill will reduce the space footprint, space utilization, increase transparency and ensure effective oversight, including requiring reporting of conferences prior to the events.
"There are thousands of square feet of unused office space spread around federal buildings, and in one case -- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- they have asked for even more, though they are not fully using what they already have," Rep. Barletta said. "The Committee has already approved reductions in office space that will save nearly $500 million dollars, but there is still work to be done."
The Public Buildings Savings and Reform Act of 2013 addresses a number of key issues identified through Committee investigations, Government Accountability Officestudies and Inspector General Reports. The bill establishes limitations on and better oversight of space acquisitions. It also freezes GSA's current physical footprint, limits the size of courthousesand requires reports on all leases signed in a given year. The bill also limits and provides greater oversight of agencies with independent leasing authorities, and increases transparency and ensures there is good data on which decisions can be made.
"Government agencies have made headlines with their extravagant parties and conferences. We have to have a better grip on that frivolous spending. Every family has to watch its budget and live within its means," Barletta said. "For too long, federal agencies have spent taxpayer resources with little conscience, and it's time they are held accountable."