House Republicans Prod OMB on Federal Property Data

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Two top members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are pressuring the Obama administration to turn over documents on federal property holdings, threatening a subpoena if the Office of Management and Budget does not comply.

As part of its ongoing monitoring of administration handling of vacant and outmoded federal buildings that continue to cost public dollars to maintain, the panel had first requested the data in December 2011.

“On March 20, 2013, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported to the full House, H.R. 328, the Excess Federal Building and Property Disposal Act of 2013,” wrote committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Operations Subcommittee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., wrote to Obama administration budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday. “In order to inform this legislation and to assist in our ongoing oversight efforts in this area, the committee has repeatedly requested Federal Real Property Profile data held by OMB, and yet these requests have consistently gone unfulfilled.”

After their first request, the lawmakers received a reply from Jeffrey Zients, then-OMB deputy director for management and now director of the National Economic Council, who said OMB was “prepared to transmit to the committee a data file that will include all domestic civilian assets that are listed in the FRBB inventory as ‘underutilized’ or ‘not mission critical’ that have a [plant replacement value] of higher than $50 million.”

Issa and Mica summarized their record of hearings on vacant properties and their committee’s passage of a bill to create an independent civilian property oversight board, a project that OMB has supported, though with differing details. The Republicans also mentioned two federal properties that have been vacant for years: the David W. Dyer Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Miami, which they said requires $1.2 million a year in maintenance, and the L Street Warehouse in Washington, which costs $70,000 a year in maintenance.

“Should OMB continue to ignore the committee’s requests,” the letter states, “we will have no alternative but to consider the use of compulsory process to obtain the requested documents and information.”

OMB spokesman Frank Benenati told Government Executive, “We are currently reviewing this letter and will respond accordingly.” 

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

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

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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