WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Angus King (I-Maine) to introduce an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would save money and encourage more efficient federal property management by streamlining the process by which the U.S. Army disposes of unused or underutilized properties.
“Excess and underutilized federal properties cost taxpayers billions of dollars in unnecessary maintenance costs each year, but there are simple steps we can take to help our federal agencies expeditiously dispose of unneeded space. This amendment will help us get better results for less money by simplifying the inefficient and time-consuming process by which the Army can repurpose its unused property,” Sen. Carper said. “I commend Sen. King for his efforts and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress on any other commonsense legislation to reduce our federal deficit and encourage government efficiency by improving federal property management.”
Under current law, all federal landholding agencies – including the U.S. Army under the Department of Defense (DoD) – must make unneeded properties available to organizations that provide assistance to the homeless. Although the law is well-intended, many Army buildings are located on active DoD property, which means the buildings must be relocated in order to be used. Additionally, the procedures that govern the disposal of federal properties often bind the Army to a lengthy, inefficient process that, in many instances, neither services the Army’s purposes nor benefits homeless assistance organizations. The amendment would create a two-year pilot program that exempts the relevant Army buildings from those legislative constraints, while ensuring that homeless assistance organizations continue to have access to federal properties, such as mobile units, that can be easily relocated from DoD installations to other settings.