Parks and Recreation:

Park Service Managers Report Shortfalls in Maintenance Funding

RCED-88-91BR: Published: Mar 21, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the National Park Service's (NPS) maintenance needs, focusing on the: (1) adequacy of funding and the effect of maintenance deferrals; (2) impact of current funding levels on maintenance staffing; (3) condition of its roads and the adequacy of road maintenance funding; and (4) ability of its new Maintenance Management System to address maintenance problems.

GAO found that: (1) fiscal year (FY) 1987 funding shortfalls totalling $1.9 billion have forced 75 percent of NPS managers to defer some needed maintenance, resulting in the deterioration of park assets; (2) 81 percent of the managers had inadequate maintenance staffing at the FY 1987 funding level; (3) most managers projected that continued maintenance deferrals could cause the total loss of some park assets; (4) the condition of some park assets posed health and safety threats to visitors; (5) although half of the NPS roads were in poor condition, funding was inadequate to prevent further decline; and (6) NPS has begun to install the system at each of the park units, but it is too early to assess its impact on NPS ability to identify, report, and address maintenance needs.

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