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GSA Administrator Backs Federal Property Management Reform


GSA # 9882

October 1, 2001
Contact: Viki Reath (202) 501-1231
viki.reath@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON - Echoing the Bush administration's call for improved management practices in government, the head of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today described to a House subcommittee business tools designed to address the very serious problem of deferred maintenance in public buildings.

One of the most effective tools, which would offer a variety of options to defray the estimated $4 billion-plus cost to upgrade GSA's 1,800 owned buildings, is the ability to enter into "public-private partnerships." The average age of GSA buildings is over 50 years old.

These changes will help agencies achieve their missions and goals by reducing the amount of deteriorating, functionally obsolescent, energy inefficient and underutilized space in the existing Federal inventory.

"We believe that changes to the property management statutes are necessary to reflect the current needs of the government and the commercial marketplace," Stephen A. Perry, GSA Administrator said in testimony during today's hearing before the House Government Reform subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy.

Several legislative proposals being considered by Congress 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 private sector tools so they can make long-range asset 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 assets to the private sector, and
explore creative financing mechanisms to help finance a backlog of public building maintenance needs.

Any final package should establish effective management processes, help agencies maintain assets needed to accomplish their missions; provide incentives to dispose of old assets and streamline and enhance existing processes.