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Federal Property Asset Management Reform is Key Component of President's Freedom to Manage Package

GSA # 9894

October 15, 2001
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
bill.bearden@gsa.gov


WASHINGTON, D. C. - As part of President Bush's Freedom to Manage agenda, officials of the U.S. General Services Administration unveiled the Federal Property Asset Management Reform package, which they say is necessary to modify existing statutes to meet current needs of Federal agencies and reflect current commercial practices for effective management of property assets.

GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry said that this reform is another important move toward achieving President Bush's call for using modern management practices to improve government performance.

"We believe these changes to statutes created more than 50 years ago are critical to establishing a government-wide process for life cycle management of Federal real and personal property assets," said Mr. Perry. "Provisions of this property reform package will help agencies achieve their missions and goals by reducing the amount of deteriorating, functionally obsolescent, energy inefficient and underutilized space in the existing inventory of Federal buildings."

The proposal would amend the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to allow Federal real property managers -- across the government's $260 billion inventory -- to use modern property management processes so they can make long-range property management decisions that are critical to improving government performance. Specifically, they would allow agencies to:

exchange and transfer property among themselves and private-sector entities,
sublease assets on unexpired portions of government leases,
lease certain underutilized assets to the private sector,
explore creative public-private financing mechanisms to help finance a backlog of public building maintenance needs,
provide incentives to dispose of old assets, and
streamline and enhance existing disposal processes.

One of the most effective tools, which would offer a variety of options to address the estimated $4 billion-plus cost to upgrade GSA's 1,800 owned buildings throughout the country, is the ability to enter into "public-private partnerships." GSA buildings are on average more than 50 years old, and deferred maintenance, repair and alteration work is accumulating to an unacceptable level. The property management reform package is needed to achieve this legislative reform.