Federal Real Property: Authorities and Actions Regarding Enhanced Use Leases and Sale of Unneeded Real Property Page: 3 of 37
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* six agencies had both the authority to enter into EULs and sell and retain the
proceeds from the sale of real property (DOD, GSA, State, USDA's Forest Service,
USPS, and VA);
* two agencies had EUL authority but no authority to retain proceeds from the sale
of real property (DOE and NASA); and
* three agencies had no authority either to enter into EULs or retain proceeds from
the sale of real property (USDA,5 excluding the Forest Service; DOI;" and DOJ).
Authorities are agency-specific and include different provisions. For example, while
VA is authorized to enter into EULs for "underutilized" or "unutilized" real property,
DOD is authorized to enter into EULs only for "nonexcess" real property. In addition,
while DOD, GSA, and VA have the authority to retain proceeds from the sale of real
property, DOD (in some cases), GSA, and VA are required to follow several steps
before possibly selling the property, including offering it to other federal agencies,
eligible organizations that will use the property to assist the homeless, and other
public benefit purposes. However, the Forest Service, State, and USPS sell real
property and retain the proceeds without following these additional steps. Moreover,
four agencies have the authority to retain proceeds from the sale of real property and
use them without further congressional action (DOD in certain cases, the Forest
Service, State,7 and USPS) while further congressional action is required before two
agencies (VA for nonEUL property and GSA) may use the proceeds.
The six agencies with authority to retain proceeds reported selling property to
varying extents and using proceeds primarily to help manage their real property
portfolios. Governmentwide data reported to the FRPP were not sufficiently reliable
to quantify the extent to which these agencies sold real property. As a result, we
were unable to use the FRPP to analyze the number of sales of real property by
agencies with the authority to retain proceeds. However, the six agencies we
contacted that have authority to retain proceeds from the sale of real property
provided data on their net proceeds from the sale of real property during fiscal years
5Because USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) received pilot authority to enter into EULs for
certain properties effective June 2008, but had not entered into any EULs during our review, we did
not include ARS in the scope of our review.
6DOI has authorities that permit it to sell certain real property and retain the proceeds, but we did not
include lands managed by DOI in our review.
7According to State, committee reports accompanying State's appropriations acts routinely require the
department to notify Congress through the reprogramming process of the specific planned use of the
proceeds of the sale of excess property. Furthermore, State indicated that it routinely includes
discussion of the use of proceeds from the sale of real property in its budget justifications and
'VA has two authorities under which it can sell real property and retain the proceeds. Under the first
authority, the Capital Asset Fund (CAF) at 38 U.S.C. 8118, VA can sell real property subject to certain
restrictions. The proceeds are deposited in the CAF which are subject to further congressional action.
Under the second authority, VA can sell real property related to an EUL that is no longer needed by the
department. When this property is sold, under 38 U.S.C. 8165, the proceeds are deposited in the CAF
which would require further congressional action. Alternatively, in its annual appropriations act, the
Secretary of VA is authorized to deposit proceeds from EULs, including sale proceeds, into VA's major
or minor construction accounts, and use these proceeds for construction, alteration, and improvement
projects. While congressional action is needed to pass VA's annual appropriation acts, no further
congressional action is needed for VA to spend these proceeds.
GAO-09-283R Real Property Disposal
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Real Property: Authorities and Actions Regarding Enhanced Use Leases and Sale of Unneeded Real Property, text, February 17, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300973/m1/3/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.