U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation designed to better manage taxpayer funds by assisting federal agencies in the disposal and management of federal buildings and facilities.
The State’s Junior Senator said that it’s crazy the federal government is wasting money on property we don’t even use, which is why he is glad they reached a bipartisan agreement on this common sense bill, saying that instead of wasting dollars, this will help us actually pay down the national debt and deficit.
Begich said that we need better management of our taxpayer dollars across our government agencies and this bill will help speed up the disposal of unneeded federal property.
The federal government currently owns more than 1 million properties across the country, making it the largest property owner in the United States. Every year since January 2003, the Government Accountability Office has placed real property management on its list of “high risk” government activities, citing long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property, deteriorating and aging facilities, unreliable property data, and a heavy reliance on costly leasing instead of ownership to meet new needs.
The bill would help facilitate the disposal of unneeded federal property and establish a framework for federal agencies to better manage existing space in a more cost-effective manner.
Eighty percent of the proceeds of any sale of property will be returned to the Treasury for debt reduction while 18 percent will be retained by the agency that owned the property, and the remaining 2 percent will be used to fund homeless assistance grants.