Public-Private Partnerships: Pilot Program Needed to Demonstrate the Actual Benefits of Using Partnerships Page: 4 of 52
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were at risk of having a negative net cash flow. The problems in these
buildings need to be addressed regardless of the availability or
applicability of public-private partnerships.
We are recommending that GSA use all available strategies to address
problems in federal buildings and further explore the benefits of public-
private partnerships. We are also suggesting that the Congress consider
providing the Administrator of GSA with the authority to proceed with a
pilot program to demonstrate the actual benefits that may be achieved. As
we stated in April 2001, Congress should also consider allowing agencies
to retain the funds from real property transactions.' If such authority is
granted, Congress should continue its appropriation control and oversight
over the use of any funds retained by agencies. GSA concurred with our
findings and recommendations.
The U.S. government is one of the world's largest property owners, with a
real estate portfolio of over 400,000 defense and civilian buildings and over
one-half billion acres of land. As we and others have previously reported,
federal asset managers are confronted with numerous challenges in
managing this multibillion-dollar real estate portfolio, including a large
deferred maintenance backlog and obsolete and underutilized properties.
These challenges must be addressed in an environment marked by
budgetary constraints and growing demands to improve service. In
response to this backlog and limited funding for repair and alteration
requirements, we have suggested that the Congress consider providing the
Administrator of GSA with the authority to experiment with funding
alternatives, including public-private partnerships, when they reflect the
best economic value available for the federal government.
The Congress has already enacted legislation that provides certain
agencies with a statutory basis to enter into partnerships. This additional
property management tool has been provided to the Department of
Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. In an effort to provide
more agencies with a broader range of property management tools, two
bills were introduced, but were not passed, in the 106th Congress that
addressed issues of federal property management. The Federal Property
Asset Management Reform Act of 2000, S. 2805, would have amended the
'Federal Buildings: Funding Repairs and Alterations Has Been a Challenge-Expanded
Financing Tools Needed (GAO-01-452, Apr. 12, 2001).
GAO-01-906 Public-Private Partnerships
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United States. General Accounting Office. Public-Private Partnerships: Pilot Program Needed to Demonstrate the Actual Benefits of Using Partnerships, report, July 25, 2001; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292885/m1/4/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.