Freezing the Federal Footprint

From the beginning of the Administration, Federal agencies have worked to increase the quality and efficiency of their core administrative functions to enhance productivity.  As part of that commitment, one of the key pillars of the President’s Management Agenda is continued emphasis on the efficiency of government operations.

In that vein, today we are pleased to announce that the Federal government has made significant progress toward implementing the Administration’s “Freeze the Footprint” policy for Federal real estate. At the close of FY 2013, the office and warehouse space in the inventory of the 24 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) agencies was reduced by roughly 10.2 million square feet.  

Through this policy direction and utilizing existing administrative authorities, agencies are taking significant and creative steps to manage their real estate inventories by freezing growth in the portfolio, measuring the cost and utilization of real property to support more efficient use, and identifying opportunities to reduce the portfolio through asset disposal.

Under the guidance to implement the Administration’s “Freeze the Footprint” policy, agencies developed three-year plans to restrict the growth in their office and warehouse inventories.  This policy requires that agencies freeze the growth in their office and warehouse inventory or offset any new acquisitions with a corresponding reduction.

Agencies also developed internal controls to facilitate increased communication between agency Chief Financial Officer and Real Property Management offices. The Freeze the Footprint policy is just one step which supports the Federal government’s efforts to improve the quality of data on the real estate inventory to support greater consolidation and improved real estate management policies going forward. Through efforts like these, we will create a Government that will make a significant, tangible, and positive difference in the lives of the American people and the economy, and drive lasting change in how government works.

To ensure accountability and transparency on agency efforts toward meeting their individual “Freeze the Footprint” baseline, agency baseline and FY13 office and warehouse space inventory numbers have been posted on

Beth Cobert is the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget

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