OMB Instructs Agencies on Freezing Real Estate Footprint


The Obama administration continued its drive to economize on federally owned real estate, issuing guidance requiring all agencies to submit a plan to “restrict the growth in their office and warehouse inventories.”

Controller Danny Werfel posted a memo on Thursday outlining a “Freeze the Footprint” policy on which agency progress will be evaluated and posted on

“Agencies have made tremendous progress in making their real estate inventories more efficient,” Werfel wrote in a blogpost. “However, we know there is still more work to be done. As we develop new initiatives to spur progress in managing federal real estate, we will be incorporating `lessons learned’ from the implementation of the president’s goals to date.”

As an example of progress, he noted the General Services Administration’s sale of Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Dallas for $357,500, a move that saved the government more than $27 million by requiring the new owner to complete environmental remediation.

The memo requires agencies to work with GSA and the Office of Management and Budget and to submit by May 15, 2013, a three-year plan that sets up new internal controls and increased communication between the agency’s chief financial officer and its real property management office.

Agencies are encouraged to pursue more co-locations and consolidations while selling off unneeded properties. “A disposal creates an offset in the amount of the square footage of the office or warehouse space disposed,” it said. “The agency's declaration of a property as `excess’ to GSA will count as an offset.”

In addition, “each agency should consult with GSA on how to use technology and space management to consolidate, increase occupancy rates in facilities, and eliminate lease arrangements that are not cost or space effective.”

(Image via vician/

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.