Facilities Location: Agencies Should Pay More Attention to Costs and Rural Development Act

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Concerns have been raised that federal agencies may not have been considering locating facilities in rural areas, as required by the Rural Development Act of 1972 (RDA), despite recent advances in telecommunications technology. GAO found that, since its 1990 report (GGD-90-109) on this issue, federal agencies generally continue to be located in higher cost, urban areas. Eight of the 13 cabinet agencies surveyed had no formal RDA siting policy, and there was little evidence that agencies considered RDA's requirements when siting new federal facilities. Furthermore, GSA ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 31, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Concerns have been raised that federal agencies may not have been considering locating facilities in rural areas, as required by the Rural Development Act of 1972 (RDA), despite recent advances in telecommunications technology. GAO found that, since its 1990 report (GGD-90-109) on this issue, federal agencies generally continue to be located in higher cost, urban areas. Eight of the 13 cabinet agencies surveyed had no formal RDA siting policy, and there was little evidence that agencies considered RDA's requirements when siting new federal facilities. Furthermore, GSA has not developed the cost-conscious, governmentwide location policy recommended by GAO in 1990. In GAO's survey, the sites that involved relocated operations still largely remained in urban areas, while the sites that involved newly established operations were more evenly spread over rural and urban areas. Federal agencies' mission requirements, such as the need to be near clients or other organizations, apparently have led them to select urban areas. GAO found that government functions, such as research and development, data processing, accounting and finance, and teleservice centers, can be located in rural areas. Although it is unclear from the information GAO collected whether any of the federal agencies that located sites in urban areas could have located them in rural areas, it is clear is that RDA has not had the influence on federal siting practices that Congress intended. Many agencies had no RDA policy, as required by the act, and many agency personnel in GAO's survey either did not consider RDA or did not know whether the act was used in making their site selection."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 31, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Facilities Location: Agencies Should Pay More Attention to Costs and Rural Development Act, report, July 31, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290486/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.