GAO's Third Biennial Report on the Transfer of Excess and Surplus Federal Personal Property to Nonfederal Organizations

GGD-85-3: Published: Nov 9, 1984. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 1984.

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GAO presented its third biennial report evaluating the operation and impact of an amendment to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, which established a single system to distribute surplus federal personal property to nonfederal organizations.

GAO found that, since the amendment became effective, a greater proportion of excess federal personal property is being acquired for use within the federal government. Although the proportion of excess federal personal property provided to nonfederal organizations is decreasing, GAO found that some executive agencies' annual reports to the General Services Administration (GSA) do not include all of the property furnished by them directly to these organizations as required. Three agencies reported that they are not reporting to GSA all such property because they did not believe that certain categories of personal property and types of recipients are to be reported. The dollar amount of surplus federal personal property, which was approved for donation by GSA to state agencies, has fluctuated since the amendment was enacted, and the number of purposes for which the property was donated has increased. Finally, GAO found that GSA has not completed actions on two previous GAO recommendations for encouraging states to: (1) submit legislatively developed, permanent state plans for operating their donation programs; and (2) perform external audits of their donation program operations. However, GSA has made progress by emphasizing the importance of permanent plans and external audits and increasing GSA oversight of these matters.

Recommendation 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 Administrator of General Services should clarify for all executive agencies the information on federal personal property to be reported to GSA in compliance with section 202(e) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended. This clarification can be accomplished by informing the heads of the executive agencies that they are to include in their annual reports all personal property: (1) obtained as excess or determined to be no longer required for the purposes of the appropriation from which it was purchased; and (2) furnished in any manner whatsoever, including personal property loaned to any nonfederal organization, within the United States to any organization other than a federal agency during the fiscal year.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration


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