WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) highlighted a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found too many federal agencies have not taken steps to implement the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010. The measure, originally sponsored by Sens. Carper and Collins along with Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), requires that the General Services Administration (GSA) provide personnel who operate and maintain federal facilities the training and resources they need to safeguard the significant investment we’ve made in energy efficient buildings.
The report, “Additional Authorities and Accountability Would Enhance the Implementation of the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010,” found that while GSA has made progress with implementation, many federal agencies across the government have not followed through and should therefore increase efforts to fully comply with the law.
“By making the buildings we own more sustainable and energy-efficient, we can help shrink our carbon footprint, ease budgetary pressures facing our federal government, and save taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Sen. Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “However, today’s report shows that many agencies are lagging behind in providing building operators the tools and resources needed to perform their jobs effectively. I am concerned that agencies are not fully aware of this law’s requirements and are not taking actions necessary to fully empower their federal building personnel. I will follow up with these agencies to learn why they are having challenges implementing the law and figure out how Congress can be helpful in furthering the goals of this law so we can ensure federal facilities are operating efficiently and in a cost-effective way.”
“The federal government is our nation’s largest energy consumer, and with 350,000 buildings we have a responsibility to improve efficiency to reduce emissions and save taxpayer dollars,” said Sen. Collins. “This assessment from GAO, however, shows that many of the government’s major landholding agencies have not yet taken steps to implement the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010, which aimed to help ensure proper training for personnel and the optimization of federal building performance.”
The Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010 required the General Services Administration (GSA), commonly referred to as the government’s “landlord”, to work with private industry and institutions of higher learning to create and maintain comprehensive continuing education courses to ensure that federal employees have the training to maintain federal buildings in a manner consistent with industry best practices.