OMB claims progress in disposing of unneeded real estate

An Air Force fueling complex in Norwalk, Calif., a maintenance shop in Yaounde, Cameroon, and a group of General Services Administration warehouses in Fort Worth, Texas, are among 130 properties prioritized by federal agencies for disposal.

In a new listing of excess federal real estate properties called for under a 2006 law, the Office of Management and Budget released the top properties for disposal. There are 76 domestic and 54 overseas properties.

The 130 properties have a combined replacement value of $362 million, and are just the highest priorities among about 500 executive branch properties worth $935 million that are for sale, according to OMB.

"Agencies have made great progress in more effectively managing our real property assets, but today's report shows the volume of unnecessary properties is such that agencies need additional tools to more effectively manage their real property," said Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, in releasing the report.

In addition to the properties already on sale, OMB identified about 21,000 properties worth $17.7 billion that have been listed by agencies as unneeded and as potential candidates for transfer, sale or destruction.

The vast majority of those are owned by the Defense Department, with the Navy and the Army responsible for $6.5 billion and $4.7 billion in assets, respectively, while the Energy Department came in third with $2.7 billion, followed by the Air Force with $1.4 billion.

OMB Controller Linda Combs said she hoped the report would stimulate congressional interest in a proposed pilot program that would allow agencies to retain 20 percent of the net proceeds from property disposal. Currently, agencies have little incentive to shed unwanted properties because disposal costs like marketing and any necessary environmental cleanup come out of their budgets, while in most cases any revenue is turned over to the treasury.

Ray Summerell, vice president for corporate development at Herndon, Va.-based VISTA Technology Services Inc., a company that provides real property services to federal agencies, said OMB's list represents a good start but falls short of what officials need to make good decisions about real property disposal.

"I would not want to be making spending decisions on the overall portfolio based on the quality of data that's there today," Summerell said. He said the asset replacement values collected by OMB are easier to come up with than market values but are not nearly as useful, since officials generally are not interested in replacing the properties identified for disposal.

He said agencies also lack hard data on costs, such as heating and repairs, associated with occupying a building. Without that information, managers cannot make sound decisions on whether the government is best served by maintaining a facility or finding an alternative.

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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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