Corps of Engineers Procedures for Acquiring and Altering Leased Space Need Revision

PLRD-82-86: Published: Jul 1, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1982.

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GAO reviewed selected Corps of Engineers' practices and procedures for acquiring and altering leased space to determine whether the Corps is following sound leasing procedures and practices.

GAO found that the Corps: (1) usually did not advertise for space and seldom sought or obtained competition for lease awards; (2) usually did not prepare independent cost estimates when it contracted on a sole-source basis with lessors for alterations; (3) did not comply fully with delegated authority to enter into multiyear recruiting office leases; (4) agreed to annual escalation of net rent on one lease; (5) paid rent and maintenance charges of about $646,000 for vacant space in one building during layout preparation and alteration; and (6) did not make the required determination that the negotiated rent on three major leases was within the Economy Act limitation prior to signing the leases.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. 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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to issue instructions requiring the Corps, whenever possible, to avoid paying rent for space before it is ready for occupancy. In those cases where rent is paid before occupancy, the Corps should attempt to negotiate a reduction in rent for reduced maintenance and other operating costs during vacancy periods.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

  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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to attempt to reach agreement with the lessor to eliminate the provision for escalation of net rent in the International Tower Building lease and issue instructions to district real estate officials not to accept such a lease escalation provision in future leases.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

  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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to issue instructions to district real estate officials not to enter into year-to-year leases which are contingent on the availability of appropriated funds for the payment of rent when leasing under multiyear authority delegated by the General Services Administration.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

  4. 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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to revise the Corps' real estate handbook to require independent detailed cost estimates based on final plans and specifications when the Corps contracts on a sole-source basis with lessors for alteration work anticipated to cost over a specified threshold amount.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

  5. 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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to monitor the leasing program to ensure that space requirements are normally advertised and maximum competition is obtained through formal solicitations for offers. Whenever space requirements are not advertised, the lease file should contain written justification for not advertising.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

  6. 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 Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to issue instructions to contracting officers to determine whether negotiated rentals on applicable leases are within the Economy Act limit prior to signing the leases.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers

 

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