Federal Lands:

Oversight of Long-Term Concessioners

RCED-92-128BR: Published: Mar 20, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined six federal agencies' oversight of concessioners providing recreation services under long-term agreements on federal lands, focusing on the: (1) concessioners' overall performance; (2) concessioners' compliance with federal, state, and local health and safety standards; and (3) reasonableness of the prices that concessioners charge the public for services.

GAO found that: (1) concessioners hold about 1,500 long-term agreements to provide a range of recreation services on land managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Forest Service, or the Army Corps of Engineers; (2) a review of 12 of the top 100 revenue-producing concessioners indicated that the agencies rated all of the concessioners as satisfactory in their overall performance, satisfactory on health and safety matters, and reasonable in terms of the prices that they charged; (3) agencies rated 47 of 50 randomly selected concessioners as satisfactory in their overall performance, 2 as needing improvement, and 1 as unsatisfactory; (4) the responsible agency subsequently suspended the unsatisfactory concessioner, since it did not meet drinking water quality, food service, or electrical and fire safety standards; (5) the agencies concluded that 43 of the 50 concessioners charged reasonable prices, and did not review the other 7 concessioners' prices, since they did not request an increase; and (6) the federal agencies used the results of inspections conducted by state and local government agencies in evaluating concessioners, but were not always aware when state and local agencies did not perform the inspections.

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