GSA's Management of Reimbursable Building Services Needs Improvement

PLRD-81-46: Published: Jul 8, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1981.

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The General Services Administration (GSA), through its Public Buildings Service, charges tenant agencies for space and related services in federal buildings and federally leased space. GSA also charges tenant agencies for special services which they request beyond the standard level of repairs and initial space alterations, building operations and maintenance, and physical protection and building security. These special services are commonly referred to as reimbursables.

Although reimbursable work is the second largest source for financing the GSA Federal Buildings Fund, it has not received the status of a major agency program. GSA has not assigned anyone overall responsibility for managing these services. Management is fragmented and responsibility for monitoring quality, promptness, and cost varies among and within GSA regions because of inadequate control by both regional and headquarters management. Compounding the effect of fragmented management is the lack of clear guidance by the Public Buildings Service. Controls are weak and reports developed to monitor such services are inadequate or not used. Delivery of reimbursable services has been inconsistent and reimbursements are inconsistent among tenants because criteria for determining which services are reimbursable are unclear. GSA maintains that reimbursement is required only for services beyond the standard level provided in commercial practice. However, GSA has not adequately defined the standard level, and GSA reimbursables continue to rise. The agency has no criteria for determining whether agencies' requests for protective services above those it normally provides are really necessary. Although GSA management has been aware of the problems it is experiencing in providing reimbursable services, it has taken little corrective action.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA has issued guidance delineating responsibility for oversight of this program.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should require the Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, to continually monitor and evaluate the program to improve management and ensure the quality of services, the reasonableness and consistency of charges, the soundness of controls, and the adequacy and uniformity of procedures.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should require the Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, to manage resources in support of the program to ensure that reimbursable requests are justified and that services are promptly delivered.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should require the Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, to publish clear criteria for determining what services are reimbursable and procedures for providing them.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

 

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