U.S. Senator Mark Pryor this week joined his Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee colleagues to introduce the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that would facilitate the disposal of unneeded federal property and establish a framework for federal agencies to manage existing space in a more cost-effective manner.
"In 2011 we passed the Budget Control Act that cut billions in spending, but we need to do more. I've supported cutting agencies' travel and printing budgets, eliminating zeroed-out bank accounts, cutting off radio and TV broadcasts to Cuba, as well as dozens of other smart cuts. This week I've signed on to the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act to save billions of taxpayer dollars by purging unneeded and underutilized federal property. This bill is an easy way we can cut our spending and secure our nation's economic future," Pryor said.
Specifically, the bill would:
* Require that each agency conduct an inventory of real property under its control, continuously survey its real property to identify excess and underutilized property, report any excess or underutilized property to the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Real Property Council, and establish goals that will lead to a reduction of the agency's excess and underutilized real property.
* Establish the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC) and charge the Council with creating an annual asset management plan and establishing performance measures that will enable Congress to track progress in achieving real property goals government-wide. The membership of the FRPC will be comprised of senior real property officers from each executive agency, the Controller at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the GSA Administrator. The council will be chaired by the OMB Deputy Director for Management.
* Require the GSA Administrator to establish and maintain a single database of all real property owned by federal agencies. The Administrator is required to make the database accessible to the public at no cost within three years after the date of enactment of this bill.
* Require agencies with independent leasing authority to submit a detailed annual report describing its leases. Although GSA is responsible for leasing property on behalf of most federal agencies, some agencies have the power to enter into leases on their own.
* Establish a pilot program to expedite the disposal of surplus properties. This will provide the Director of OMB the authorization to dispose of up to 200 properties each year with priority going to those properties that have the highest fair market value. Under the pilot program, GSA is reimbursed for the costs of identifying and preparing a property for disposal. Eighty percent of the proceeds of any sale of property will be returned to the Treasury for debt reduction while 18 percent or the share of proceeds otherwise authorized to be retained under law will be retained by the agency that owned the property, and the remaining 2 percent will be used to fund homeless assistance grants.