Real Update on Real Property

As I’ve written about before, as part of the President’s Accountable Government Initiative, we are taking aggressive steps to save taxpayer dollars while making government work better, harder and more efficiently for the American people.

That’s why on June 10, 2010, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum titled “Disposing of Unneeded Federal Real Estate” directing agencies to accelerate efforts to remove excess and surplus property for a savings of $8 billion by the end of FY 2012. And as part of the President’s FY 2012 budget process, we are working closely with Federal agencies to achieve that goal.

Federal agencies have detailed plans to cut excess property costs and implement cost cutting measures. To date, Federal agencies have identified $1.7 billion of the $3 billion in non-defense savings opportunities that the President has required us to achieve by the end of FY 2012. And we are off to a good start in converting these opportunities to bottom line savings for taxpayers. For instance, we are selling buildings such as one office building in Omaha, Nebraska for $1.3 million, one in Springfield, Massachusetts for $2.5 million, and one in Bethesda, Maryland for $12.4 million.

The Department of Defense is also on track to achieve the $5 billion in real property cost savings through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in the same time period.

While there is still work to be done, we are pleased with the progress made thus far and we are working with the agencies to identify further opportunities for cost reductions.

As the country’s largest property owner and energy user, it is critical that we remain vigilant about our operating costs. By selling buildings, reducing maintenance costs, cutting energy costs, consolidating and re-aligning existing space and reducing leases, we are saving taxpayer dollars and making government work better for everyone.

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