In response to news stories detailing federal construction projects that have gone over budget and over schedule, members of a Congressional committee have approved legislation calling for a greater monitoring of those projects.
H.R. 6194, otherwise known as the Real Estate Assets and Leasing (REAL) Reform Act of 2018, will more closely study General Service Administration facility projects with the goal, according to a press release from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, of enhancing “accountability over the agency’s construction program.”
Introduced by Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta, the REAL Act primarily addresses itself to the manner in which the federal government handles its real property portfolio.
The GSA currently has an inventory of more than 370 million square feet of work space.
Barletta contends that up to $500 million a year could be saved through a more concerted effort to consolidate facilities and reduce overall office space.
Any new GSA move to build new office space, according to the legislation, would have to be rigorously justified by the agency.
GSA construction projects run the gamut from new courthouses, new ports of entry, and new Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices.
With the approval of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the REAL bill is now on its way to the full House.
By Garry Boulard
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