Representative Denham Introduces Civilian Property Realignment Act

May 5, 2011

WASHINGTON – Representative Jeff Denham, Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, today introduced his Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA), common sense legislation to reduce our federal footprint and save billions of taxpayer dollars. The CPRA, H.R. 1734, implements the five principles that Chairman Denham has been working on since early February. Chairman Denham intends move this bill through Congress quickly and plans to hold a hearing on the legislation soon.

Chairman Denham first proposed a civilian BRAC commission at the Subcommittee’s first hearing in February and outlined the 5 principles for the proposal, agreed to by the Office of Management and Budget, at the hearing on April 6th. He has since worked to develop the principles into civilian BRAC commission legislation that will reduce our federal footprint and cut spending to save taxpayer dollars.

“I believe the potential to save billions of dollars is real. Given our trillion dollar deficit and skyrocketing debt we must examine every area of government and look for ways to cut spending. My bill establishes a nine person Civilian Property Realignment Commission to take politics out of the process, increase transparency and save billions of taxpayer dollars,” said Chairman Denham.

The key principles introduced by Chairman Denham and agreed to by the Administration at an April subcommittee hearing include: working to maximize return to the taxpayer, maximizing space utilization, reducing the reliance on costly leasing, creating value in underperforming assets and improving the overall management and controls related to federal properties. Daniel Werfel, Controller at the Office of Management and Budget, supported each of the goals introduced by Chairman Denham. Rep. Denham also is stressing the importance of transparency in the process.

Chairman Denham’s Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734)

Establishes A Real Property Commission: Establishes a nine person Civilian Property Realignment Commission whose purpose is to:

  • Consolidate the footprint of federal buildings and facilities;
  • Maximize the utilization rate of federal buildings and facilities;
  • Reduce the reliance on costly leased space;
  • Sell or redevelop high value assets that are underutilized to obtain the highest and best value for the taxpayer;
  • Reduce the operating and maintenance costs of federal civilian real properties through the realignment of other real properties by consolidating, co-locating, and reconfiguring space, and other operational efficiencies;
  • Reduce redundancy, overlap, and costs associated with field offices;
  • Create incentives for Federal agencies to achieve greater efficiency in their inventories of civilian real property by enabling agencies to retain and reinvest savings and sale proceeds;
  • Facilitate and expedite the sale or disposal of unneeded civilian properties; and
  • Assist Federal agencies in achieving the Government’s sustainability goals by reducing excess space, inventory, and energy consumption, as well as by leveraging new technologies.

Takes Politics Out of the Process: The legislation provides for expedited review and up or down consideration of the Commission’s recommendations, just like in the BRAC process. Congress would have the opportunity to disapprove of the committees’ recommendations en bloc only, not in a piece meal fashion ensuring politics is removed from the process.

Self Funding: The bill provides for a one time appropriations of $88 million after which the proceeds from the sale would be used to repay the treasury plus give taxpayers a 60 percent windfall on any property sold.

Saves More than $15 Billion: Analysis by OMB states the taxpayer benefit of this legislation will be at least $15 billion, with the potential for much greater savings.

Deals Exclusively with Public Properties: Military instillations, properties deemed essential for reasons of national security, and national parks are not subject to the board’s jurisdiction.