The new National Strategy for Real Property and the new Reduce the Footprint policy follow on a 2013 directive requiring agencies to freeze their real estate footprints and be more efficient with their use of space.

But the new policies will require agencies to take steps beginning in fiscal 2016 to reduce their footprint, not just freeze it, according to David Mader Federal Controller at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Over time the new strategy and policy will improve the utilization of government owned buildings and lower the number of excess and underutilized properties.

"Consolidating properties and collocating agency office space is not only commonsense, but will provide more convenient access to the public and allow for upgraded facilities to provide more modern work environments for federal employees to conduct their business," Mader said.

He said from fiscal 2012 to 2014, agencies reduced space by 21.4 million square feet. In fiscal 2014 alone, agencies cut $17 million in annual operating costs by disposing of unused or underused buildings.

Agencies will be required to set annual real estate reduction targets for buildings within the United States and adopt space design standards to optimize office space, according to Mader.

OMB has also partnered with the General Services Administration to implement new analytical tools for government portfolio data to support data-driven decision making.

The tools – which will be fully implemented by the end of fiscal 2015, will provide information on the annual cost, location, size and lease expiration of agency properties

"We look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve a more efficient and effective delivery of government services through improved management and utilization of real property," Mader said.