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CBO Says White House Plan is Costly

Photo: CBO, csmonitor.com

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the White House’s plan to sell off government properties to save money will actually end up costing the government more. A report by the agency found the proposal would increase spending by $60 million in the next decade.

The proposal, which is part of the 2012 budget proposal, includes the creation of a Civilian Property Realignment Board, which would cost $420 million from 2012-2016. The Obama administration has deemed 12,000 of the government properties as “excess.”

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew said in a May 4 memo the plan to sell government property is part of a bigger mission. “The plan aims to cut bureaucratic red tape, resolve longstanding competing stake holder interests, and help address the financial challenges that hinder efforts to realign and consolidate federal real property,” he said.

The report was requested by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). It says the Obama administration estimates the plan would bring in $15 million in additional gross receipts from 2013-2017 and enable agencies to keep up to 40 percent of the sale proceeds.

In a March 2 blog post on Whitehouse.gov, federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients said this plan brings “private-sector discipline to the management of federal real estate and applies tactics proven successful by the DoD’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission.”

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