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Lawmakers Question Govt. Leasing Costs

Sen. Tom Carper

The amount of space the federal government leases should be reduced, but the current lease-scoring system hinders such efforts, a Government Accountability Office report says.

The Washington Business Journal reports a Senate subcommittee met Thursday to discuss the findings with GAO officials.

The 1990 Budget Enforcement Act requires agencies to record the total acquisition price for real estate in the budget for the year the purchase takes place. For leases, only the annual payments must be reflected in that year’s budget.

“This is an area that has cried out for years,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).“We’re talking about a lot of money that’s not being spent wisely and going forward, in almost everything we do, we’ve got to find ways to get better results for less money.”

Space leased by the General Services Administration totaled 191 million square feet nationally in fiscal year 2010. The federal government owns 179 million square feet of space.

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One comment

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