June 11, 2015
Over the past few years, the UK Cabinet Office has looked to the way it procures and occupies real estate as an important way of reducing the country’s budget deficit. One other country that is following suit is the US. The congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the US House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation to reform the way federal office space is managed, procured and occupied. The Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2015 sets out ways to reduce and consolidate space, divest unnecessary buildings, improve oversight of facilities management, negotiate better and shorter lease terms with the aim of saving billions of dollars each year. In the UK, the Government claims to have reduced the public sector estate by 2 million sq ft in just three years with a range of similar approaches, saving around £1.2 billion.
“Since last Congress, we have worked to reduce the federal footprint through consolidating space and improving space utilization,” committee member Lou Barletta said. “Through those efforts, we have saved the taxpayer more than $2.5 billion. In the next five years, half of all GSA leases will expire – that’s 100 million square feet of space or 32 new World Trade Centers in New York. This bill will give GSA the tools it needs to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for savings. And I will continue to put pressure on both GSA and their tenant agencies to get better deals for the taxpayer.”