GSA urges Congress to invest in modernizing federal facilities and to streamline approval process

by Brianna Crandall — July 22, 2022 — In June, the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service (PBS) Nina Albert GSA logotestified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. In her testimony, Commissioner Albert underscored the importance of properly maintaining federal facilities for the safety of the public and federal employees; the financial risks to the government if we do not address mounting deferred maintenance; and, the savings to taxpayers if we proactively address these issues.

PBS Commissioner Nina Albert asserted:

The opportunity is here to work together to achieve better outcomes while saving taxpayers money. By providing full access to the Federal Buildings Fund, GSA can consolidate agencies into federally owned facilities where possible to avoid lease costs, reduce facility vulnerabilities due to extreme weather events, and modernize our spaces to meet the evolving needs of agencies and visitors alike.

Commissioner Albert explained that, without full access to the Federal Buildings Fund (FBF), public buildings will continue to suffer from the consequences of deferred maintenance. Liabilities are growing by $2.6 billion per year, and this is likely to compound further the longer GSA is not able to address critical repairs. Commissioner Albert also highlighted the opportunity to streamline the approval and implementation of GSA projects by modernizing the prospectus authorization process. Approximately $50 million a year can be saved by shortening the prospectus timeline and increasing the speed that GSA is able to go to the market with construction contracts and leases.

Commissioner Albert’s full testimony, entitled “Capital Investment Program: Identifying Risk to GSA Facilities,” may be found on the GSA website.

GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people.