New legislation to improve federal property management has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The Federal Property Management Reform Act of 2016 establishes a framework for agencies to assess and inventory real property, more efficiently manage buildings and co-location opportunities for federal agencies, and determine how to dispose of unneeded property. 

The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., was championed in the Senate by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and passed on Dec. 17.

Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of buildings and permanent structures held by the federal government, many of them underutilized, aging, unreliable or reliant on costly leases, the Government Accountability Office has regularly placed real estate management on its list of "high risk" activities. 

"It's been clear to me and to many others for a long time now that we can get better results and save taxpayer dollars by simply improving the way we manage federal property," said Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"This bipartisan bill will do just that by requiring federal agencies to account for their properties and help the government get a better handle on its vast assets. These commonsense reforms signed into law today will increase efficiency across the federal government and help to ensure that we are being better stewards of taxpayer dollars."

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