President Obama has ordered federal agencies to sell off data centers and other unnecessary properties to facilitate a broad cost-saving measure.
In a memo issued by the White House and posted online, the administration put a moratorium on agencies opening any new data centers. Moreover, agencies must examine the properties they already have and develop plans to consolidate them and reduce their number by 2015.
“To eliminate wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars, save energy and water, and further reduce greenhouse gas pollution, I hereby direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to accelerate efforts to identify and eliminate excess properties,” the president said in the memo. “Agencies shall also take immediate steps to make better use of remaining real property assets as measured by utilization and occupancy rates, annual operating cost, energy efficiency, and sustainability.”
The memo points out that for decades, the federal government has managed more real estate than it needs. The administration wants data center consolidation efforts to be part of its overall strategy to eliminate waste on many levels.
Agencies have until Aug. 30 to submit their plans for how they will reduce the number of data centers in the next five years to the Office of Management and Budget, according to the memo.
The administration said that efforts agencies make to eliminate unnecessary data centers and other properties should produce at least $3 billion in cost savings by the end of fiscal year 2012.
When coupled with efforts by the Department of Defense to close and consolidate military bases, savings accrued by closing data centers and other properties should reach $9.8 billion by 2012, according to the memo.
The administration expects $5 billion of that to be the direct result of reduced operating and maintenance from disposals or other consolidation efforts, it said.