Improvements Needed in GSA's Role in the Real Property Utilization Survey Program

PLRD-82-93: Published: Jul 20, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1982.

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GAO reviewed how the General Services Administration (GSA) fulfills its responsibility for carrying out the real property utilization survey program established by Executive Order 11954, recently replaced by Executive Order 12348, and implemented by Federal Property Management Regulation 101-47.8. The survey program was created to ensure that unneeded Federal real property is identified, reported, and disposed of in a manner that provides the greatest benefit to the United States.

GAO found that the program has not changed much since it was initiated, but it has not been as effective in causing Federal agencies to report real property in excess of their needs. GAO believes that the reduced effectiveness of the program can be attributed in part to the termination of the Federal Property Council. When the Council was terminated, its responsibilities were transferred to the Office of Management and Budget. GAO identified the following weaknesses in the GSA management of the survey program: (1) failure to use the results of previous surveys to aid in selecting properties that have the greatest potential for being excess to agencies' needs; (2) performance of cursory surveys which are unproductive and a waste of resources; (3) maintenance of an inadequate and incomplete database of properties subject to survey; and (4) failure to follow up on survey recommendations and actions taken and planned by Federal agencies. In its fiscal year 1983 budget, the administration has proposed a revised program to improve Federal asset management and to dispose of unneeded Federal property. GAO believes that this revived interest in identifying and disposing of unneeded real property should help GSA do a better job in its survey program; but the agency's management weaknesses in carrying out the survey program require attention.

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: In planning real property surveys, the Administrator of General Services should direct GSA survey program managers to analyze the results of previous surveys to determine the types of properties that have the greatest potential for being excess to agencies' needs.

    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: In planning real property surveys, the Administrator of General Services should direct GSA survey program managers to concentrate on those properties for survey where the evidence indicates good potential for finding excess property.

    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: In planning real property surveys, the Administrator of General Services should direct GSA program managers to establish a more realistic number of surveys to be performed each year based on available resources and a systematic scheduling of properties never surveyed, as well as properties where experience indicates a potential for excess.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  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: In planning real property surveys, the Administrator of General Services should direct GSA survey program managers to improve, through cooperative efforts with holding agencies, the inventory of Federal real property used to select properties for survey.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

 

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