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GSA looking to streamline portfolio after years of budget cuts

Apr. 8, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini seeks to 'right-size' portfolio.
GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini seeks to 'right-size' portfolio. (File)

After years of budget cuts the General Services Administration is working to “right-size” its portfolio and deliver better services to agency customers, according to administrator Dan Tangherlini.

GSA has struggled with congressional budget cuts over the last few years, with its new construction budget slashed nearly 90 percent since 2010 – from more than $800 million in 2010 to $56 million in recent years.

The 2014 budget passed early in 2014 restored some construction and renovation funding but the agency needs more budget to get back on track, Tangherlini said at an April 8 hearing. GSA is requesting $816 million for new construction and about $1.2 billion for renovations.

He said the agency faces a backlog of projects that grow more expensive the longer they are delayed, such as an IRS parking garage repair in Austin, Texas, that more than doubled in cost as the parking garage continued to deteriorate.

“There is a long list of projects out there that needs to be done,” Tangherlini said.

The agency has also seen its leases grow longer as the agency was unable to receive funding to move customers or build new facilities. The average lease time is 27 years and growing, Tangherlini said.

The agency continues to consolidate offices and making its operations more efficient, cutting costs 5.6 percent in 2014 — a reduction of $39 million costs, Tangherlini said.

“This reduction is a result of consolidating resources and providing administrative support in a more efficient way, and we expect further reductions as we continue to execute on this effort,” he said.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services, which oversees GSA, said he is skeptical of the large size of the GSA request and the agency should work harder to cut costs.

He said GSA’s request to spend all of its collected rent on construction and renovation projects could mean GSA collects too much rent.

“If you are collecting more than is needed than maybe you should charge agencies less,” Crenshaw said.

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