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Federal Real Property: Lightning Protection Systems for Federal Buildings

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "A Congressional letter, dated June 30, 2004, to the Comptroller General expressed concern that the federal government may not have a uniform approach to protecting its facilities from lightning strikes. As a result, Congress requested a GAO study on issues related to whether the federal government should adopt a uniform standard for lightning protection systems. We selected four agencies for this study--the General Services Administration (GSA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and the Department of Defense (DOD). These agencies hold over 80 percent (in terms of square footage) of the government's owned and leased property. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) to what extent these selected federal agencies use applicable lightning protection standard(s) to help protect buildings they own from lightning strikes; (2) how these selected federal agencies assess the need for lightning protection systems on their buildings; (3) what practices and lightning protection standard(s) the General Services Administration uses when leasing privately owned buildings; and (4) what data exist related to the financial impact of lightning protection and damage to the federal government, such as the number of buildings with lightning protection systems, the costs associated with installing lightning protection systems, and the costs to repair buildings struck by lightning."
Date: May 19, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Authorities and Actions Regarding Enhanced Use Leases and Sale of Unneeded Real Property

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Many federal agencies hold real property that they do not need, including property that is underutilized or excess. Such properties present significant potential risks to federal agencies because they are costly to maintain and could be put to more cost-beneficial uses or sold to generate revenue for the government. We first designated federal real property management as a high-risk area in January 2003 due to long-standing problems with underutilized and excess property, among other things. After our high-risk designation, President George W. Bush added real property management to the President's Management Agenda and directed that the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) be established as a comprehensive database of real property under the control and custody of executive branch agencies, with agencies required to report on their real property assets each year. The President also established a goal of disposing of $15 billion in unneeded real property assets by 2015 to encourage agencies to right-size their portfolios by eliminating unneeded property. Some federal agencies have been granted authorities to enter into enhanced use leases (EUL)--typically long-term agreements with public and private entities for the use of federal property, resulting in cash and/or in-kind consideration for the agency--or to retain the proceeds from the sale of real property. Given the large number of unneeded properties being held by the federal government, Congress asked that we review how agencies are using their disposal authorities. Therefore, we addressed (1) what authorities the 10 largest real property holding agencies have to enter into EULs and retain proceeds from the sale of real property; (2) the extent to which agencies with authority to retain proceeds sold real property and how they have used the proceeds; and (3) the relationship, if any, between agencies having ...
Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Excess and Underutilized Property Is an Ongoing Challenge

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government faces long-standing problems in managing real property, including excess and underutilized property. In focusing on this issue, GAO found that data problems continue to hamper federal efforts. GAO examined Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) data, which is managed by the General Services Administration (GSA) and is to describe the real property under the custody and control of executive branch agencies. GAO identified inconsistencies and inaccuracies at 23 of the 26 locations visited in 2011 and 2012 in key data elements related to the management of excess and underutilized property, including utilization, condition, annual operating costs, and value of the buildings. For example, several buildings that received high scores for condition were in poor condition, with problems including, asbestos, mold, health concerns, radioactivity, and flooding. These findings raised concern that the FRPP is not a useful tool for describing the nature, use, and extent of excess and underutilized federal real property."
Date: April 25, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Improved Data and a National Strategy Needed to Better Manage Excess and Underutilized Property

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We found that the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC) has not followed sound data collection practices in designing and maintaining the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) database, raising concerns that the database is not a useful tool for describing the nature, use, and extent of excess and underutilized federal real property. The FRPC has not ensured that key data elements—including buildings’ utilization, condition, annual operating costs, mission dependency, and value—are defined and reported consistently and accurately. For example, we documented buildings reported to the FRPP as underutilized even though they were fully occupied and we also documented others that were vacant but reported as utilized. We also saw severely dilapidated buildings that were reported as being in excellent condition. In fact, at 23 of the 26 locations visited, we identified inconsistencies and inaccuracies related to these data elements. As a result, FRPC cannot ensure that FRPP data are sufficiently reliable to support sound management and decision making about excess and underutilized property. In addition to problems with data consistency, we found problems with collaboration and reporting issues, among others."
Date: August 6, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Actions Needed to Address Long-standing and Complex Problems

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government faces longstanding problems with excess and underutilized real property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, and costly space. These problems have multibillion-dollar cost implications and can seriously jeopardize agencies' missions. In addition, federal agencies face many challenges securing real property due to the threat of terrorism. This testimony discusses long-standing, complex problems in the federal real property area and what actions are needed to address them."
Date: October 1, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: The Government Faces Challenges to Disposing of Unneeded Buildings

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal real property portfolio, comprising over 900,000 buildings and structures and worth hundreds of billions of dollars, presents management challenges. In January 2003, GAO designated the management of federal real property as a high-risk area in part due to the presence of unneeded property. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for reviewing agencies' progress on federal real property management. The General Services Administration (GSA), often referred to as the federal government's landlord, controls more square feet of buildings than any other civilian federal agency. GSA funds real property acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal through the rent it collects from tenant agencies that is deposited into the Federal Buildings Fund (FBF). This testimony discusses (1) the scope and costs of the excess real property held by GSA and other federal agencies; and (2) the challenges GSA and other federal agencies face in disposing of excess and underutilized real property. GAO analyzed GSA data from a centralized real property database, reviewed GSA real property plans and previous GAO reports, and interviewed GSA and OMB officials."
Date: February 10, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Overreliance on Leasing Contributed to High-Risk Designation

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government's real property portfolio includes more than 900,000 buildings and structures worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Many of these properties are leased from private-sector owners, often at total costs that would exceed what the government would pay for ownership. Overreliance on costly leased space was one of several factors that contributed to GAO's designation of federal real property management as a governmentwide high-risk issue. The administration's proposed Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA) would reform federal real property management and disposal. For this subcommittee, GAO is currently examining opportunities for consolidating federal operations and moving them from leased space to federally owned sites. This statement identifies (1) the factors that contribute to the government's reliance on costly leasing, (2) how CPRA may provide an opportunity to reduce reliance on leasing, and (3) federal agencies' independent leasing authorities and General Services Administration's (GSA) delegations of leasing authorities. To do this work, GAO relied on its prior work and reviewed CPRA and other relevant reports."
Date: August 4, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Further Actions Needed to Address Long-standing and Complex Problems

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property as a high-risk area due to long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, and costly space challenges. Federal agencies were also facing many challenges protecting their facilities due to the threat of terrorism. This testimony discusses the problems with federal real property, particularly those relating to excess and deteriorating property, and what needs to be done to address them."
Date: June 22, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Reliance on Costly Leasing to Meet New Space Needs Is an Ongoing Problem

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property a high-risk area and issued an update on this area in January 2005. GAO identified the government's reliance on costly leased space as one of the major reasons for the high-risk designation. Other reasons included excess and deteriorated property, unreliable real property data, and the challenges associated with protecting these assets from terrorism. This testimony discusses GAO's designation of federal real property as a high-risk area and focuses specifically on the government's reliance on costly leased space."
Date: October 6, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: An Update on High Risk Issues

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property as a high-risk area because of long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, over-reliance on costly leasing, and security challenges. In January 2009, GAO found that agencies have taken some positive steps to address real property issues but that some of the core problems that led to the designation of this area as high risk persist. This testimony focuses on (1) progress made by major real property-holding agencies to strategically manage real property, (2) ongoing problems GAO has identified in recent work regarding agencies' efforts to address real property issues, and (3) underlying obstacles GAO has identified through prior work as hampering agencies' real property reform efforts governmentwide."
Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: An Update on High-Risk Issues

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property as a high-risk area due to long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, and costly space challenges. Federal agencies were also facing many challenges protecting their facilities due to the threat of terrorism. This testimony is based largely on GAO's April 2007 report on real property high-risk issues (GAO-07-349). The objectives of that report were to determine (1) what progress the administration and major real property-holding agencies had made in strategically managing real property and addressing long-standing problems and (2) what problems and obstacles, if any, remained to be addressed."
Date: May 24, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Excess and Underutilized Property Is an Ongoing Problem

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "At the start of each new Congress since 1999, we have issued a special series of reports entitled the Performance and Accountability Series: Major Management Challenges andProgram Rsks. In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property a high-risk area and issued an update in January 2005 on this area. GAO identified excess and underutilized property as one of the major reasons for the high-risk designation. This testimony discusses GAO's designation of federal real property as a high-risk area, focusing on excess and underutilized property and describes various efforts to address the problem and what more needs to be done."
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Proposed Civilian Board Could Address Disposal of Unneeded Facilities

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government holds more than 45,000 underutilized properties that cost nearly $1.7 billion annually to operate, yet significant obstacles impede efforts to close, consolidate, or find other uses for these properties. GAO has designated federal real property management as a high-risk area, in part because of the number and cost of these properties. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for reviewing federal agencies' progress in real property management. In 2007, GAO recommended that OMB assist agencies by developing an action plan to address key obstacles associated with decisions related to unneeded real property, including stakeholder influences. In May 2011, the administration proposed legislation, referred to as the Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA), to, among other things, establish a legislative framework for disposing of and consolidating civilian real property and that could help limit stakeholder influences in real property decision making. This statement identifies (1) progress the government has made toward addressing obstacles to federal real property management, (2) some of the challenges that remain and how CPRA may be responsive to those challenges, and (3) key elements of the Department of Defense's (DOD) base realignment and closure (BRAC) process that could expedite the disposal of unneeded civilian properties. To do this work, GAO relied on its prior work, and reviewed CPRA and other relevant reports."
Date: June 9, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Progress Made on Planning and Data, but Unneeded Owned and Leased Facilities Remain

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government holds more than 45,000 underutilized properties that cost nearly $1.7 billion annually to operate, yet significant obstacles impede efforts to close, consolidate, or find other uses for them. In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property management as a high-risk area, in part because of the number and cost of these properties. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for reviewing federal agencies' progress in real property management. In 2007, GAO recommended that OMB assist agencies by developing an action plan to address key obstacles associated with decisions related to unneeded real property, including stakeholder influence. The President's fiscal year 2012 budget proposed establishing a legislative framework for disposing of and consolidating civilian real property, referred to as a Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA), which may be designed to address stakeholder influences in real property decision making. This testimony identifies (1) obstacles to effectively managing federal real property, (2) actions designed to overcome those obstacles, including government actions and CPRA, and (3) key elements of the Department of Defense's (DOD) base realignment and closure (BRAC) process that are designed to help DOD close or realign installations and may be relevant for CPRA. To do this work, GAO reviewed GAO reports, other reports, and CPRA."
Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Executive and Legislative Actions Needed to Address Long-standing and Complex Problems

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Long-standing problems with excess and underutilized real property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, and costly space challenges are shared by several agencies. These factors have multibillion-dollar cost implications and can seriously jeopardize agencies' missions. Federal agencies face many challenges securing real property due to the threat of terrorism. This testimony discusses long-standing, complex problems in the federal real property area and what actions are needed to address them."
Date: June 5, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Views on Real Property Reform Issues

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2002, will enhance federal real and personal property management and bring the policies and business practices of federal agencies into the 21st century. Available data show that the federal government owns hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide, including military installations, office buildings, laboratories, courthouses, embassies, postal facilities, national parks, forests, and other public lands, estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Most of this government-owned real property is under the custody and control of eight agencies--the Department of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, the Interior, and Veterans Affairs; General Services Administration; the Tennessee Valley Authority; and the U.S. Postal Service. Federal property managers have a large deferred maintenance backlog, obsolete and underutilized properties, and changing facility needs due to rapid advances in technology. It is important that real property-holding agencies link their real property strategic plans to their missions and related capital management and performance plans; ensure that senior real property officers have the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to effectively perform their duties; are accountable for the reliability, usefulness, and timeliness of their data; and adopt an effective process to monitor and evaluate any management tool authorized by the bill. It is equally important that GSA provides written guidance to agencies on the development of their business and asset management plans and that Congress provide appropriate control and oversight of intended and actual use of the funds retained from real property transactions."
Date: April 18, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Views on Management Reform Proposals

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed aspects of S. 2805--the Federal Property Asset Management Reform Act--and H.R. 3285--the Federal Asset Management Improvement Act."
Date: July 12, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Strategy Needed to Address Agencies' Long-standing Reliance on Costly Leasing

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, GAO designated federal real property as a high-risk area, citing the government's overreliance on costly, long-term leasing as one of the major reasons. GAO's work over the years has shown that building ownership often costs less than operating leases, especially for long-term space needs. GAO was asked to identify (1) the profile of domestically held, federally leased space including the overall amount and type of space agencies lease, and any related trends; (2) the factors that drive agencies to lease space that may be more cost-effective to own; and (3) any actions taken by the administration and alternative approaches proposed to address this issue. GAO reviewed fiscal year 2006 Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) leasing data and relevant documents and interviewed officials from the General Services Administration (GSA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). GAO also reviewed 10 building leases that were among those with the largest dollar value in 3 locations GAO visited."
Date: January 24, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Progress Made Toward Addressing Problems, but Underlying Obstacles Continue to Hamper Reform

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO prepared this report under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative to assist Congress. Federal real property is a high-risk area due to excess and deteriorating property, reliance on costly leasing, unreliable data, and security challenges. GAO's objectives were to determine (1) what progress the administration and major real property-holding agencies have made in strategically managing real property and addressing long-standing problems and (2) what problems and obstacles, if any, remain to be addressed. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and nine agencies that hold 93 percent of federal property."
Date: April 13, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Improved Standards Needed to Ensure That Agencies' Reported Cost Savings Are Reliable and Transparent

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Agencies reported real property cost savings of $3.8 billion in response to the June 2010 presidential memorandum from disposal, space management, sustainability, and innovation activities. Space management savings, defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as those savings resulting from, among other things, consolidations or the elimination of lease arrangements that were not cost effective, accounted for the largest portion of savings reported by all agencies, and for about 70 percent of the savings reported by the six agencies GAO reviewed--the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Energy (DOE), Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and State (State). The requirements of the memorandum, as well as agencies' individual savings targets and the time frame for reporting savings, led the selected agencies to primarily report savings from activities that were planned or under way at the time the memorandum was issued."
Date: October 29, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Improved Transparency Could Help Efforts to Manage Agencies' Maintenance and Repair Backlogs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The five federal agencies GAO reviewed--the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Departments of Energy (DOE), Homeland Security (DHS), the Interior, and Veterans' Affairs (VA)--reported fiscal year 2012 deferred maintenance and repair backlog estimates that ranged from nearly $1 billion to $20 billion. In accordance with Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) standards, agencies report backlog estimates in required supplementary information accompanying their financial statements in their annual financial reports. In addition, data reported by agencies and included in the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP)--a database overseen by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in coordination with agencies comprising the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC)--provides information that can be used to estimate an agency's backlog. FASAB and FRPP guidelines do not share a common definition of deferred maintenance, and an agency can make different determinations when reporting information in its financial reports and to FRPP, resulting in dissimilar backlog estimates. In addition, agencies use different methods to determine and report backlogs, making estimates across agencies not comparable. For example, Interior excludes, while DHS includes, costs for some assets scheduled for disposal. In 2011 and 2012, FASAB adopted new standards that (1) clarify the definition of deferred maintenance and repair and (2) emphasize the need for consistency over time in determining and reporting backlogs. FRPC is considering incorporating the FASAB definition of deferred maintenance and repair in its fiscal year 2014 FRPP reporting guidance. These changes may result in improved information on agencies' backlogs and prove beneficial over time."
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Selected Agencies Plan to Use Workforce Mobility to Reduce Space, but Most Efforts Are Too New to Have Realized Savings

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The five selected agencies GAO reviewed are either exploring or taking actions such as increasing "telework" participation and implementing a "hoteling" program--which means that employees give up their individual, permanent space and use shared, nonpermanent workspaces when they are in the office-- to reduce their space needs. For example, as part of its headquarters renovation, the General Services Administration (GSA) is making use of open, collaborative work environments and implementing a hoteling program for all employees. In addition, the Department of Agriculture set agency-wide goals for increasing the number of its employees with approved telework agreements as well as its overall telework participation rates for fiscal year 2013. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken steps to reduce its space needs as a result of increased workforce mobility for more than a decade, and there are indications that USPTO has avoided real estate costs as a result of its efforts. However, GAO was unable to obtain sufficient information to determine the accuracy and validity of USPTO's estimated cost savings. Beyond USPTO, the agencies GAO reviewed have not yet realized space reductions or cost savings because their efforts are too new. In addition, officials at the selected agencies pointed out that increasing telework participation or implementing a hoteling program may not be appropriate in all instances, such as for employees who work with sensitive or classified documents or who interact with members of the public."
Date: October 17, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Real Property: Property Conveyances between the District of Columbia and the Federal Government Await Completion, and Development Will Take Many Years

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-396) mandated GAO's review of the property exchange between the District and the federal government. None of the conveyances had occurred by the beginning of GAO's audit phase. After consulting with the congressional committees specified in the law, GAO developed research questions that reflect an assessment of property exchanges and development progress to date. GAO's objectives were to determine (1) the status of the conveyances and transfers of the properties identified in the law; (2) what steps the District and the federal government have taken toward completing the conveyances, what factors have affected their completion, and what additional steps remain; (3)what preliminary development has occurred on the properties exchanged between the District and the federal government, and what are the current plans for use of these properties; and (4)what development challenges the District and federal government face going forward. GAO analyzed planning and property documents; conducted site visits; and interviewed senior officials from the District and the Department of the Interior (DOI) among others. DOI and the General Services Administration agreed with our findings, while the District and the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) did not comment on our overall findings. All provided technical clarifications which we incorporated as appropriate."
Date: June 13, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department