Lankford Protects Taxpayers from Outdated Federal Leasing, Purchasing Processes

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, today reintroduced a bill to reform federal leasing and purchasing guidelines and processes under the General Services Administration (GSA) to ensure the federal government is not paying too much for federal property leases and can shift from leased to owned when it saves the taxpayers money.

“Outdated federal purchasing practices that never change continue to waste taxpayer dollars and federal workers’ time. Congress must act,” said Lankford. “Updating outdated leasing and purchase processes for federal property will allow the federal government to get the best value for taxpayers. We need the  flexibility to strategically buy properties where it is more cost effective for American taxpayers.”

The federal government sometimes pays too much for federal properties. Specifically, high-value, long-term leases of federal civilian properties can sometimes cost more than purchasing a building. However, GSA typically lacks the budget authority to buy a property outright and must rely on leases to fulfill federal space and property requirements. GSA is currently not allowed to include a purchase agreement as part of a long-term lease, which could give the federal government the option—but not a requirement—to purchase the building, if it will cost less than continuing to lease and/or rent it.