FEBRUARY 17, 1998

Senator Baucus: I am Paul Prouty, the Assistant Regional Administrator for the GSA Public Buildings Service in the Rocky Mountain Region. Our region includes the states of Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We manage 14 million square feet of space comprised of 582 buildings, of which 206 are Government˙2Downed and 376 are leased. In Montana, we manage 1.3 million square feet in 29 Government˙2Downed and 53 leased buildings. Two of these Government˙2Downed buildings are on the National Register of Historic Properties, and six additional Federal structures are presently eligible.

I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the commitment of the Rocky Mountain Region to promote the housing of government agencies in the Central Business Areas and in historic structures and districts. Included in this process is our commitment to be a good neighbor by working with local officials and other interested parties.

We are a significant real property services provider, and are fortunate to have top˙2Dnotch employees who know the real estate business. Our program includes major construction and restoration projects. One of our recent historical renovations in Denver won the prestigious Presidential Design Award. Amongst GSA regional offices, we lead the nation in Small Business awards, and our programs contribute millions of dollars to the region, which includes an annual leasing investment of $7 million into Montana's economy.

As the real estate broker for Federal agencies, our leasing process is triggered by the receipt of a request to locate a Federal agency or to continue their presence in a given community. After the agency has identified their requirements and a desired area for location, it is our role to consult with local arid city officials to determine how the requirement can best be integrated into a community plan. This is an evolutionary process which develops through a series of discussions with the client agency and community officials. These discussions take the form of meetings with public officials, chambers of commerce, representatives of the various historic interest groups, town hall meetings, and the like. Sometimes this process is accomplished with a great deal of ease. At other times there is not necessarily an easy match of agency requirements and available options in the community. Our skills continue to develop and the partnerships continue to evolve. We are determined to find better ways of dealing with communities and our customers, which will result in continuing successes that balance the interests of the Federal and local communities. This concludes my testimony.