Delays in Providing Office Space for the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority

LCD-81-14: Published: Dec 5, 1980. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 1980.

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GAO was asked to examine the reasons why, after 2 years, the General Services Administration (GSA) has not provided suitable office space for the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority. In addition, concern was expressed over the apparent lack of space planning for new Federal agencies in general.

The headquarters offices of both the Board and the Authority are still housed in temporary space which the agencies believe does not meet their needs and has hindered their operations. Current efforts by GSA can result in the Board occupying permanent headquarters space by the summer of 1981. GSA is not certain when permanent headquarters space will be provided for the Authority. With the exception of four locations, permanent space has been provided for the Board's 22 and the Authority's 13 field offices. Insufficient Government owned or privately owned lease space is the underlying reason for the delays in providing permanent headquarters space for the Board and the Authority. According to officials of the Board, the Authority, and GSA, delays have been caused by: (1) lessor reluctance to accept a Government lease; (2) congressional moratoriums of approval of prospectuses for lease space; (3) lack of responsiveness by GSA in leasing new space; (4) higher space priorities of other Federal agencies; (5) higher turnover and inexperience of GSA staff; and (6) agency unfamiliarity with GSA regulations and procedures.

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