Could Federal Deficit Be Reduced through Facilities Infrastructure Analysis?

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Would more effective use of federal real property, or disposal of excess holdings, be enough to help pay down the deficit? Experts agree the first step to answering that question is comprehensive facilities infrastructure analysis.

In the televised press conference following his re-election, President George W. Bush outlined his priorities for his second term. One of the items he mentioned was his desire to lower the $7.3 trillion federal budget deficit. Experts point to the administration’s commitment to evaluating federal government real property holdings – demonstrated by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Executive Order 13327 on Federal Real Property Asset Management (EO 13327) – as indicative of how the President may address this goal.

Little notice was given to EO 13327 when it was signed earlier this year on February 4. As an un-funded initiative for 2004 – despite being part of the Presidential Management Agenda – many executive branch agencies missed the early deadlines for compliance with the order. These agencies’ Senior Real Property Officers (positions specifically created by the Executive Order) are required to develop an asset management strategic plan as part of the 2005 Federal Budget process – includes strategy and cost estimates to recoup investments in excess real property inventory. In short, they must outline, over the next few months, how they plan to dispose of unused real property assets for profit.

Would more effective use of federal real property, or disposal of excess holdings, be enough to help pay down the deficit? Experts agree the first step to answering that question is comprehensive facilities infrastructure analysis.

“At the start of the latest round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld estimated that 25 percent of the military’s real property holdings were excess,” said VISTA Technology Services President and CEO David Baxa. “The Federal Government has $350 billion in real property holdings. Analyzing what they have and what they need would go a long way to determining how beneficial a more streamlined approach could be to the bottom line.”

Ron Burton, Vice President, Advocacy and Research for BOMA International, a leading association serving the commercial real estate industry, was an early opinion leader regarding EO 13327. “Analysis of federal facilities and infrastructure, including buildings, is a key first step to mirror effective and efficient facility and property management techniques employed in the private sector,” Burton explained. “The private sector has long looked to its facilities and infrastructure to increase efficiency and reap cost savings, and the Federal Government should move quickly to enhance the ability of federal property managers to employ proven and effective management tools employed by private sector real estate professionals.”

About VISTA Technology Services, Inc.

VISTA Technology Services, Inc. (VISTA) is known for managing change from the ground up. A leader in facilities infrastructure analysis, IT and management consulting, VISTA’s expertise supports Defense Transformation and civilian agency efficiency requirements. To meet changing governmental organizational structures and responsibilities, VISTA has developed a proven methodology for facilities infrastructure analysis, including productized IT-based services for data collection, certification, and analysis, budgeting, management and archiving. VISTA is a wholly veteran-owned company and combines a thorough practical knowledge of government processes and procedures with superior technological expertise. For more information, contact VISTA at 703-561-4100, or visit http://www.vistatsi.com.

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Alex Zavistovich
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