Federal Judiciary Space:

Update on Improvement of the Long-Range Planning Process

GAO-01-308R: Published: Jan 25, 2001. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 2001.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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GAO reported on the Administrative Office of the United States Courts' (AOUSC) progress in implementing six GAO recommendations to improve its long-range space planning process. AOUSC has fully implemented five of the six recommendations and partially implemented one. Specifically, AOUSC began (1) using a statistical classification technique, known as cluster analysis, to create groups of federal districts with similar characteristics; (2) relying on an automated computer program called AnyCourt to verify that districts' estimates of space baselines are consistent with the U.S. Courts Design Guide; (3) using a standard statistical forecasting technique, known as AutoRegressive Integrated Moving-Average, as a basis for developing more accurate caseload projections; (4) helping districts improve their personnel projections by comparing their projections to AOUSC personnel projections and discussing the results with districts when large deviations occurred; and (5) providing the General Services Administration (GSA) with data related to 10-year projections of districts' estimated space needs to support the judiciary's request for congressional approval of funds to build new court-related facilities and modify existing buildings. AOUSC has been unable to fully implement the remaining recommendation to update the districts' plans every 3 to 5 years. Nevertheless, AOUSC said it will continue to focus its efforts on updating the plans so that Congress and GSA can have the most accurate information on space requirements.

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