Panel would help government sell properties

Wednesday - 3/2/2011, 1:08pm EST

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The Obama administration plans to set up an independent panel to determine which unneeded government properties to sell off.

The panel will consist of private and public sector leaders to recommend which publicly owned real estate can be sold, consolidated, co-located or reconfigured, an administration official said Wednesday in a statement on the condition of anonymity.

The panel's actions are expected to save $15 billion over the first three years it is operational, the official said. The federal government currently wastes "billions of taxpayer dollars" each year on properties it no longer needs, according to the official's statement.

"For too long red tape and politics have prevented the government from moving forward on these fronts," the administration official said.

The property sales are part of President Obama's Accountable Government Initiative to cut waste and modernize government.